Race Discrimination

Area
Provision of goods, services and facilities
Terms of Settlement
Compensation
Compensation
$14,500 each
Complaint Summary
A woman and her husband complained about the way they were treated by the centre manager of a shopping centre from whom they leased premises and operated a business. The couple claimed they were upset by comments made by the manager suggesting that the business was not doing well because of the woman’s ‘bad English’ and lack of understanding. The woman, who was of European background, had successfully operated businesses overseas for many years and was deeply offended by these comments, as was her husband. Negotiations over commercial issues subsequently broke down, and although the man wrote to the manager about his comments they never received an apology. The couple closed the business.
The Commissioner decided to refer the complaint for conciliation because she thought the manager’s handling of the issue concerning the management of the couple’s business may raise issues of racial discrimination in relation to the woman’s complaint, and association with a person who has the attribute of race in relation to the man’s complaint. At conciliation, the company agreed to pay the woman and her husband $14,500 each for any hurt, humiliation or distress.

 

Area
Employment
Terms of Settlement
Staff training
Shift changes
Written apology
Compensation
$5,500
Complaint Summary
A man alleged he was subjected to racial and disability discrimination in the workplace claiming that he was given an insulting nickname and removed from some of his duties because he was not Australian.  The complainant also alleged he was subjected to unilateral and non-consensual changes to his work arrangements, which resulted in difficulties managing his carer responsibilities.  He claimed that the changes did not apply to his colleagues and that when he raised his caring commitments with his managers, he was informed that they did not care about his family obligations.  At conciliation the employer agreed to send out a bulletin to staff reiterating that racism and bullying is not accepted in the workplace.  It was also agreed to ensure that the complainant would be provided with a shift pattern that conformed to his childcare obligations.  He was provided with a written apology and $5,500 financial compensation.
Area
Provision of goods, services and facilities
Terms of Settlement
Written apology
Development of a policy for refusals of entry
Discrimination training for staff
Compensation
Nil
Complaint Summary
The complainant, who is an elderly indigenous woman, felt that she been unfavourably treated by a club because of her race. She had arranged to meet her husband outside the club and tried to get a drink there while she waited. The staff member refused her entry to the club or a drink, despite the fact that her husband was a member, and that it was a very hot day. The complainant became agitated and felt humiliated by her treatment by the staff member, who eventually called the police to forcibly remove her from the club.
The Commissioner considered that the complaint raised issues of race discrimination and that it was resolvable by early conciliation. Without any admission of liability, the club agreed to provide the complainant with a written apology, develop a policy for dealing with refusals of entry, and ensure that staff received discrimination training

 

Area
Provision of goods, services or facilities
Terms of Settlement
Cultural awareness training
Assurances about future services
Compensation
$10,000
Complaint Summary
A man complained that his wife had been discriminated against on the grounds of her sex, race and religious belief, whilst seeking advice about their son. The man stated that the professional whom they consulted persisted in trying to shake his wife’s hand, and made a number of comments that they should follow Australian customs if they intended staying in Australia, and telling them it is rude not to shake hands. The couple’s cultural and religious background does not permit such contact between men and women.
At conciliation the professional’s employer made an apology and paid $10,000 compensation. The respondent undertook to ensure that all staff and particularly the individual involved in the complaint receive cultural awareness training, and made assurances in relation to the provision of future services to their son.

 

Area
Accommodation
Provision of goods, facilities and services
Terms of Settlement
Review of policies and procedures
Cross-cultural awareness training for staff
Compensation
Nil
Complaint Summary
A woman complained that her accommodation needs were not adequately considered, and conditions placed on her were not imposed on non-indigenous co-tenants, such as not allowing her a pet and signing a contract that banned alcohol.
At conciliation the provider agreed to review its policies and procedures to ensure that all staff are able to provide accurate information about the nature and scope of the services that it provides, and to ensure its accommodation will be provided with greater cultural sensitivity towards indigenous clients by requiring all staff to attend cross-cultural awareness training.

 

Area
Access to premises
Terms of Settlement
Apology
Undertaking to remind security staff of obligations
Implementation of appropriate disciplinary measures
Compensation
Nil
Complaint Summary
A multicultural youth worker lodged a complaint on behalf of a young African man who was refused entry to a nightclub on a number of occasions over a month. The young man complained that each time he was told by security that they were not letting any Africans into their premises due to a fight early in January 2009 involving Africans. The man reported that he knew of other African people having similar experiences during this period.
The matter was resolved at conciliation with the manager apologising to the young man, acknowledging that being refused entry to the club was unlawful, undertaking to remind all security staff of their legal obligations under the Discrimination Act, and agreeing to take appropriate disciplinary measures if anyone breaches the obligations under this Act.

 

Area
Employment
Terms of Settlement
Improve policies for handling performance issues
Provide job search information
Provide a statement of service
Compensation
$2,500
Complaint Summary
An Asian man with a physical disability complained that his employment was suddenly terminated in his probation period after he was told that he was not fit or suitable. The man was concerned by negative comments he alleged were made to him by a co-worker about his English and his lifting abilities.
At conciliation the employer agreed to make an ex-gratia payment of $2,500 to the man, improve its policies for handling performance issues with staff (including to include effective and clear communication), provide the man details of agencies and training providers to assist the complainant in obtaining similar work, and providing a statement of service.

 

Area
Employment
Terms of Settlement
Written apology
Discrimination and cross-cultural training
Compensation
$2,000
Complaint Summary
A woman who worked at a hairdressing salon alleged that her employer made racial remarks to her which included referring to her as “Abo”. The woman claimed that when she was introduced to someone at work who worked in the same industry as her partner, the employer described her partner as a “boong”.
In conciliation the employer agreed to pay the woman $2,000 compensation for hurt, humiliation and distress, to supply her with a written apology, and to attend discrimination and cross-cultural training.

 

Area
Employment
Terms of Settlement
Written apology
Review drop off and pick up area
Raise staff awareness
Compensation
Nil
Complaint Summary
A man working in a voluntary capacity assisting people from an aged-care facility claimed that, while attempting to collect an elderly person from a health service, a man in a ‘lab coat’ with a identity tag called him by a racist term.
At conciliation, the service agreed to give a written apology to the man for hurt and distress, to review their drop off and pick up area to ensure there are sufficient spaces, and to explore ways of raising awareness with staff of their responsibility to treat members of the public respectfully at all times.

 

Area
Provision of services
Access to premises
Terms of Settlement
Review of anti-discrimination policy
Copies given to all staff
Anti-discrimination training for staff
Compensation
Nil
Complaint Summary
A young man who was an overseas student complained that when he presented his driver’s licence for identification at a nightclub the security guard made a comment which implied that he was a terrorist. When he told the security guard that he was offended by the comments, the security guard became abusive. The complainant alleged that he was then told he could not re-enter the club until he apologised to the guard, and his requests to see the manager were denied. The Commissioner issued a written decision in this matter in which she concluded the complaint appeared to raise issues of both racial discrimination and vilification.
At conciliation, the proprietor of the club agreed to review their written anti-discrimination policy, ensure that all staff have a copy of the policy, and consider making any changes to this policy as recommended by the Commission and the complainant. The proprietor also agreed to remind staff of the policy at quarterly staff meetings and to provide anti-discrimination training to all staff over the next year.

 

Ground
Race, Parent or Carer Status
Area
Employment
Terms of Settlement
Compensation
Policy Change
Staff training
Compensation
$7000
Complaint Summary
An Aboriginal woman working as an Indigenous Liaison Officer claimed that her employer prevented her from attending a training course because of her race. The woman also requested that her position be changed to give her more time to care for her child and family. The woman claimed that her employer refused this request, but that a new position with lower level duties was created after her resignation. The employer claimed operational requirements prevented it from fulfilling the woman’s requests. At conciliation the employer agreed to pay the woman $7,000 for alleged hurt, humiliation and distress. The woman agreed to release her employer from all claims and to write a letter to the individual staff members involved in making the decision regarding her application for the training, outlining the impact the decision had on her. The employer agreed to arrange a meeting between the staff members and the directors of the program to discuss this letter. The employer agreed to implement a procedure to inform staff members of the reasons for refusing training applications. The employer also agreed to remind managers of the importance of direct feedback from staff and to implement its planned Cultural Awareness program.

 

Area
Membership or services of a club
Terms of Settlement
Staff training including a focus on cultural awareness
Compensation
Nil
Complaint Summary
The complainant visited a club with her Maori partner and niece. She claimed that the staff person at the door made assumptions about them due to their race. She claimed that the staff member rudely questioned them about what they intended to do in the club, and that she unnecessarily told them that their niece was not allowed to drink alcohol or play the poker machines. The complainant claimed that the staff member was making assumptions about their drinking and gambling habits based on their race.
At conciliation the club agreed to provide discrimination and cross-cultural training to all of its staff. It also agreed to recommend that all of the ACT venues provide this training to their staff.

 

Area
Employment
Terms of Settlement
Apology
Compensation
Cultural awareness training for staff and Board members
Compensation
$1000
Complaint Summary
The complainant Claimed race discrimination against her employer. She claimed that she was treated differently to other employees in relation to work allocation and in the way the manager of the service interacted with her. When she raised her concerns with the manager no action was taken.
As a result of conciliation the employer agreed to ensure all staff and Board members of the organisation receive cultural awareness training and agreed to review its staff and Board induction process. It also agreed to provide a written apology and to pay $1000 in compensation for hurt, humiliation and distress.

 

Area
Goods, services and facilities
Terms of Settlement
Policy Change
Compensation
Nil
Complaint Summary
A man alleged that he was asked inappropriate questions about his background, and why he had came to the ACT, during an interview with an employee of a Government Department. The man claimed these questions were asked because he looks African and that his Australian citizenship was disregarded. The Department claimed that the questions were standard procedure required to assess eligibility to the service. The complaint was resolved with the Department acknowledging that the man felt uncomfortable with the way in which the employee conducted the meeting, and expressed regret for what happened. The Department also agreed to display posters showing people from diverse backgrounds and diverse needs in reception areas and interview rooms to welcome customers to its service. In addition, the Department agreed to consult with the man about the design of the posters, and to provide him with a copy of its new Customer Service Standards.

 

Area
Club Membership
Terms of Settlement
Apology
Membership reinstated
Compensation
Nil
Complaint Summary
A woman complained that she was banned from a club and her membership cancelled indefinitely, despite being a member for over 4 years. Although the woman tried to find out the reason for this decision by the club, she was given no explanation. As one of few Aboriginal patrons of the club, the woman believed she was racially discriminated against because she was Aboriginal. At conciliation, the club apologised to the woman, and agreed to reinstate the woman’s membership without any charge.

 

Area
Employment
Terms of Settlement
Compensation
Compensation
$4000
Complaint Summary
A man alleged he felt generally bullied and harassed at work. His allegations included colleagues making derogatory comments about his race and generally being made to feel unwelcome because he was from a different country. He alleged that he reported his concerns to Management but it was not dealt with and the comments continued. This led to him resigning from his position. At conciliation the employer agreed to pay him $4000 financial compensation for hurt, humiliation and distress.

 

Ground
Association with a person with the attribute of race
Area
Goods, services and facilities
Terms of Settlement
Policy Change
Staff training
Compensation
Nil
Complaint Summary
A man representing an advocacy organisation alleged that an accommodation provider refused to accept a booking for his clients because he identified them as refugees. The man alleges he was told that the organisation had a policy not to provide accommodation to refugees. In conciliation, the provider agreed to engage an anti-discrimination expert to assist it to develop a quality assurance process to regularly check that its policies and practices are non-discriminatory and introduce a specific anti-discrimination policy. The provider also agreed to include a module on anti-discrimination in its e-learning training and to ensure a senior employee in its central office is trained in anti-discrimination law, who can then pass down this training to Managers and their staff.

 

Area
Employment
Terms of Settlement
Compensation
Staff training in discrimination law
Implementation of an anti-discrimination policy
Compensation
$1000
Complaint Summary
A complaint lodged a complaint with this Commission on the basis of an association with a person of another race after her employer asked not to sell their products to people of that race. After she had resigned from her position and lodged the complaint, she alleged that she was victimised by her previous employer because she had lodged a complaint with this Commission. The matter was conciliated ‘on the papers’ without a conciliation conference being held, with the respondant agreeing to pay $1000 in compensation and to implement discrimination training and a discrimination policy for staff. This

 

Area
Employment
Terms of Settlement
Apology
Compensation
Cultural awareness training for staff and Board members
Compensation
$1000
Complaint Summary
The complainant Claimed race discrimination against her employer. She claimed that she was treated differently to other employees in relation to work allocation and in the way the manager of the service interacted with her. When she raised her concerns with the manager no action was taken.
As a result of conciliation the employer agreed to ensure all staff and Board members of the organisation receive cultural awareness training and agreed to review its staff and Board induction process. It also agreed to provide a written apology and to pay $1000 in compensation for hurt, humiliation and distress.

 

Area
Goods, services and facilities
Terms of Settlement
Compensation
Reimbursement for medications
Improve Policy in relation to provision of interpreters
Compensation
$2000
Complaint Summary
A woman of African origin alleged that she was discriminated against on the grounds of race when seeking emergency medical treatment. The woman who had very limited English claimed that she was unable to inform the treating practitioner about the extent of her injuries and pain. The woman also alleged that there was no attempt to obtain an interpreter, and that she could not understand what was being asked and said to her about her injuries. The woman stated that because the treating practitioner did not physically examine her, and due to the lack of interpreter she was not able to provide any information about her medical history.
At conciliation, the health service provider agreed to pay $2000 in compensation to the woman and reimburse her for medications prescribed at a subsequent medical consultation. They also agreed to improve their policy in relation to the provision of interpreters, including by recording all attempts to obtain an interpreter in patients’ medical records, and also to provide training to all staff on the use of interpreters.