Discrimination in the workplace

Employers are prohibited from workplace discrimination.

Experiencing workplace discrimination? We can help you on the following grounds;

  • colour
  • race
  • ethnic or national origins
  • sex (including pregnancy or childbirth)
  • marital or family status
  • age
  • disability
  • religious or ethical belief
  • political opinion
  • employment status
  • sexual orientation
  • involvement in union activities, which includes claiming or helping others to claim a benefit under an employment agreement, or taking or intending to take employment relations education leave.

These grounds are the same as the grounds in the Human Rights Act. In some circumstances, different treatment of employees on these grounds is acceptable.

If you believe your employer is discriminating against you on one or more of the prohibited grounds listed above – it is important to seek assistance at an early stage. Our company can provide representation to ensure that your rights are upheld.

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Parental Leave

Parental leave is governed by the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987.

Where you are entitled to parental leave your job should be there for you when you return.

It is very rare that a job cannot be kept open.

In most cases you are expected to give three months notice of your intention to take leave. There are often problems for the employer keeping a job open such a lengthy period of time and you need to check on several points both before and during leave. We can help ensure your job is still there when you return. Problems also arise when an employee seeks leave and the employment relationship deteriorates. We can help identify problems and resolve them on your behalf.

It is best to consult us before you tell your employer you are seeking parental leave to avoid potential problems. We can ensure your leave is handled appropriately. We can also help with problems of discrimination against women having children and remaining in the workplace including elements of age and gender discrimination.

If you suspect you are being prejudiced in the workplace in any way give us a call.

Sexual harassment

Sexual harassment is any unwanted behaviour of a sexual nature. 

Under the Human Rights Act 1993 and the Employment Relations Act 2000 you can take a personal grievance for sexual harassment.

Under the legislation sexual harassment may include: An employer or employer’s representative making a request, directly or indirectly, of an employee for sexual intercourse, sexual contact, or other form of sexual activity that contains:

  • an implied or overt promise of preferential treatment in that employee’s employment, or
  • an implied or overt threat of detrimental treatment in that employee’s employment, or
  • an implied or overt threat about the employee’s present or future employment status

An employer or employer’s representative using language (written or spoken), visual material or physical behaviour of a sexual nature:

  • that is unwelcome or offensive to that employee (whether or not this is conveyed to the employer or representative), and
  • that is either repeated or is so significant that it has a detrimental effect on the employee’s employment, job performance, or job satisfaction

If you believe you are being sexually harassed in the workplace you need to discuss it first with your employer. We can help you with the procedure from the first step and any grievance raised. We can help you take a case for sexual harassment to the Authority or the Human Rights Commission.

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