Bullying and discrimination

The Fair Work Act has different rules to stop bullying and discrimination.

Discrimination happens when there is ‘adverse action’ because of a person’s characteristics such as their race, religion or sex (see Discrimination for the full list of characteristics).

Bullying happens when someone repeatedly behaves unreasonably towards another person or group at work and that behaviour causes a risk to health and safety. This behaviour doesn’t have to be related to the person or group’s characteristics (race, religion, sex, etc). The behaviour also doesn’t need to be an ‘adverse action’.

What if I’m being bullied?

From 1 January 2014, workers who think they’re being bullied at work can apply to the Fair Work Commission for an order to stop the bullying. Visit our bullying section for more information.

If you’re being bullied at work you can also get advice and help from your local occupational health and safety (OHS) body.

What if my employer is bullying or harassing me because I complained?

You shouldn’t face adverse action from your employer because you’ve applied to the Fair Work Commission or complained to an OHS body.

We may be able to help if you are being disadvantaged because you have complained about bullying at work. For more information on workplace rights, visit our Coercion and workplace rights page.

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Page last updated: 28 Mar 2012