In Victoria it is against the law to discriminate against an employee because of a personal characteristic that they have, or that someone assumes they have.
The personal characteristics protected by the law include:
• personal association with someone who has, or is assumed to have, one of these personal characteristics.
Sexual harassment is also against the law.
Are there any exceptions?
While the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 aims to ensure fair employment opportunities for all people, it does include some general exceptions. This means that an employer may be allowed to discriminate in particular circumstances.
Employers may be vicariously liable for their employees’ acts of discrimination or sexual harassment. Employers can also be directly liable. Find out more about who is liable for discrimination and harassment.
Employers also have a positive duty to eliminate discrimination, sexual harassment and victimisation as far as possible.
Complaints of discrimination made to the Commission are resolved through a process called conciliation. Find out more about our process for resolving complaints.
Federal anti-discrimination laws also apply to Victorian employers, and protect people against sexual harassment and discrimination on the basis of age, disability, race, sex, marital status, pregnancy, breastfeeding, family responsibilities, sexual preference, medical record, criminal record, trade union activity, political opinion, social origin, religion, and nationality or ethnic origin.