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What Are Your Rights? the Workplace and Dismissals

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What Are Your Rights? the Workplace and Dismissals

If you have experienced different or less favourable treatment in your workplace due to your personal circumstances with COVID-19. You may have been subjected to discrimination and certainly should not be dismissed. If you can do the inherent functions of the role without putting others at risk. This is just an example of the changing Australian workplace. Russians have been banned from playing tennis this years at Wimbledon. Is this discrimination or Britain excising its democratic right to decide who comes to their country? What Are Your Rights? the Workplace and Dismissals is been updated, please read on.

Your rights are important.

There are certain personal attributes that are protected by discrimination laws, such as race, disability, gender, pregnancy and family responsibilities. COVID-19 is not a ‘protected attribute’ itself, but discrimination due to COVID-19 is protected by other attributes.

What could the less favorable treatment look like?

  • Dismissal
  • Reduced hours
  • Not being hired
  • Having your job changed to your disadvantage
  • Different treatment to colleagues
  • Not being given legal entitlements, such as leave or flexible work conditions

I’ve been treated unfairly because I had COVID-19 or was forced to isolate.

This is disability discrimination.

‘Disability’ includes any injuries or medical conditions, such as COVID-19.

  • If you are still employed, consider a General Protections (Not Involving Dismissal) claim in the Fair Work Commission.
  • If you have been dismissed within the last 21 days, consider a General Protections (Involving Dismissal) claim in the Fair work Commission.
  • You have been dismissed more than 21 days ago but within the last 12 months. Consider a Discrimination Complaint in your State human rights body.

I’ve been treated unfairly because my employer thought I had COVID-19, even though I didn’t.

This is also disability discrimination. ‘Disability’ includes any injuries or suspected medical conditions, such as COVID-19.

  • If you are still employed, consider a General Protections (Not Involving Dismissal) claim in the Fair Work Commission.
  • If you have been dismissed within the last 21 days, consider a General Protections (Involving Dismissal) claim in the Fair work Commission.
  • If you have been dismissed more than 21 days ago but within the last 12 months, consider a Discrimination Complaint in your State human rights body.

I’ve been treated unfairly because I was not allowed to work from home, even though I am at high risk from COVID-19.

This is disability discrimination. ‘Disability’ includes any injuries or medical conditions which would make you more susceptible to COVID-19. Or place you at greater risk.

  • If you are still employed, consider a General Protections (Not Involving Dismissal) claim in the Fair Work Commission.
  • If you have been dismissed within the last 21 days, consider a General Protections (Involving Dismissal) claim in the Fair Work Commission.
  • If you have been dismissed more than 21 days ago but within the last 12 months, consider a Discrimination Complaint in your State human rights body.

I’ve been treated unfairly because I was not allowed to work from home, even though I am pregnant and therefore at risk from COVID-19.

what-are-your-rights-in-the-new-COVID-normal

This is pregnancy discrimination.

You cannot be treated unfairly due to being pregnant, especially when you have a valid health concern, such as COVID-19.

  • If you are still employed, consider a General Protections (Not Involving Dismissal) claim in the Fair Work Commission.
  • If you have been dismissed within the last 21 days, consider a General Protections (Involving Dismissal) claim in the Fair Work Commission.
  • If you have been dismissed more than 21 days ago but within the last 12 months, consider a Discrimination Complaint in your State human rights body.

I’ve been treated unfairly because I was not allowed to work from home, even though my family member is at high risk from COVID-19.

This is family or carer’s responsibilities discrimination.

If your working conditions would place a family member at risk, this can be considered family responsibilities.

  • If you are still employed, consider a General Protections (Not Involving Dismissal) claim in the Fair Work Commission.
  • If you have been dismissed within the last 21 days, consider a General Protections (Involving Dismissal) claim in the Fair Work Commission.
  • If you have been dismissed more than 21 days ago but within the last 12 months, consider a Discrimination Complaint in your State human rights body.

I’ve been treated unfairly because I was not allowed to work from home, even though I have family/caring responsibilities due to COVID-19.

forced-resignation-this-is-a-dismissal
Couldn’t do the roster the employer demanded, forced to resign. This is a dismissal.

This is family or carer’s responsibilities discrimination. If your working conditions would prevent you from fulfilling your responsibilities to your family (for example, as a parent) or as a carer (for example, looking after old or unwell parents), you may be protected.

  • If you are still employed, consider a General Protections (Not Involving Dismissal) claim in the Fair Work Commission.
  • If you have been terminated within the last 21 days, consider a General Protections (Involving Dismissal) claim in the Fair Work Commission.
  • If you have been dismissed more than 21 days ago but within the last 12 months, consider a Discrimination Complaint in your State human rights body.

I’ve been treated unfairly because I made a complaint about my workplace’s COVID-19 policies and procedures.

This is not discrimination. However, making a complaint is considered ‘exercising a workplace right’ and is hence covered by General Protections laws. You may also be covered by State victimisation laws, depending on the nature of the complaint and to whom it was made.

  • If you are still employed, consider a General Protections (Not Involving Dismissal) claim in the Fair Work Commission.
  • If you have been unfairly dismissed or unlawfully terminated within the last 21 days, consider a Unfair dismissal claim (F2) General Protections (Involving Dismissal) claim (F8) in the Fair Work Commission.
  • If you have been dismissed more than 21 days ago but within the last 12 months, (if outside this still happy to talk to you about the time line). Consider a Discrimination and Victimization Complaint in Federal Human Rights Commission or your State Human Rights or Equal Opportunity body.

I have been treated unfairly because I have a genuine mental health condition and have been very anxious and/or stressed due to COVID-19.

social-media
Don’t get your medical or workplace advice from social medial.

This is mental disability discrimination.

‘Disability’ includes all mental illnesses and conditions. Provided that you have a genuine condition, you may be protected by discrimination laws. For example, unfair treatment may be having your sick leave request turned down, or being criticised or treated differently because of your condition.

  •  If you are still employed, consider a General Protections (Not Involving Dismissal) claim in the Fair Work Commission.
  • If you have been dismissed within the last 21 days, consider a General Protections (Involving Dismissal) claim in the Fair Work Commission.
  • You have been dismissed more than 21 days ago but within the last 12 months. Consider a Discrimination Complaint in your State human rights body.

I’ve been treated unfairly because I expressed my political views on COVID-19.

This is political opinion discrimination.

You cannot be treated unfairly for expressing your political views. Provided that you do not perform any activities breaking the law. For example, if you were terminated or treated differently for expressing your opinions about the current government’s approach to COVID-19, you would be protected.

  • You have been dismissed within the last 21 days, consider a General Protections (Involving Dismissal) claim in the Fair work Commission.
  • You have been dismissed more than 21 days ago but within the last 12 months, consider a Discrimination Complaint in your State human rights body.
being-dismissed-by-zoom-while-injured
Being dismissed by zoom while injured

I’ve been treated unfairly because I refused to wear a mask or comply with COVID-19 restrictions.

This is not discrimination. Discrimination does not protect you from activities that would break the law. You are entitled to express your political opinion. Which is protected under discrimination laws, but this does not extend to performing unlawful activities. You may be morally opposed to it, but employers have obligations. Also employers are entitled to run their workplace as they fit within the confines of the law

Conclusion to What Are Your Rights? the Workplace and Dismissals

We are A Whole New Approach P/l. AWNA are not lawyers but Australia’s leading workplace advisors. All Fair work Australia matters, Human Rights, dismissals, workers rights, employment rights. We are all about your rights, have concerns?, questions?, give us a call, we are here to help, certainly stressful times, we understand that. We work in all states, Victoria, NWs, QLD, Tas, SA, NT, WA.

Get free, prompt, honest advice. Call 1800 333 666

Articles What Are Your Rights? the Workplace and Dismissals

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Fair work Australia, click here

FAQ’S, click here

Reinstatement after dismissal click here

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