- Human Rights
- Get Involved
What To Do About Discrimination or Harassment?
If you believe you have been discriminated against or harassed, the first step is to explain to the person engaging in the discriminatory conduct (the “offender”) why you find the behaviour or comments offensive and ask him/her to stop.
If there is an issue concerning your kakaars or other articles of faith, explain to the person concerned that you are wearing these items due to your religion and their significance to you.
If you are not satisfied with the response, then you should proceed with speaking to the offending person’s superior. If this does not result in a satisfactory response, then you should consider taking the matter further.
If the discrimination or harassment occurs at work, see whether there are company or union policies forbidding this type of behaviour and whether there are any internal complaint procedures. You may want to speak with your manager, union representative or some other authority.
You can also contact the WSO for advice in regards to your situation. WSO has encountered many cases of discrimination and harassment and may be able to guide you as to which steps you need to take and what options are available to you.
It is important to put your experience in writing. Be sure to record:
- What happened
- When it happened
- Where it happened
- Who was involved and what was said
- Others who may have seen the incident
- What you did and said
WSO encourages the amicable resolution of disputes. It is easiest and most efficient to resolve such issues without the necessity of proceeding to a human rights hearing. You have more control over the outcome, and you can use the opportunity to educate the offender in a non-adversarial setting.
However, some matters are not suitable for informal resolution, and may require the intervention of a Human Rights Tribunal or the Courts. Prior to undertaking such a complaint procedure, you should make sure that it is the right course of conduct for your case. WSO’s legal team is available to speak to you and provide you with the information necessary to determine the best course of conduct for you.