Injury Discrimination

Injury discrimination can occur where you are being treated less favourably because you possess, or are seen to possess, an injury, disability or impairment.

Discrimination law protects you from unlawful discrimination where you can still perform the inherent requirements of your position, sometimes with reasonable adjustments to your job. You have the right to be discrimination-free at work.

Getting back to work can be important for financial and emotional wellbeing, and help you to return to normal life.

Discrimination is a complex area of the law, and other laws may also apply including worker’s compensation and work, health and safety legislation.

If you are facing an uncertain work future because of injury discrimination at work, Contact WorkLegal today.

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Case Study – Discrimination towards an Injured Worker

An Australia Post driver was injured at work when he stumbled and twisted his hip.  He had longstanding back problems.  He applied for workers’ compensation, which was known to his supervisors.  Whilst his application was still being assessed his employment was terminated.  Australia Post said he was terminated for having missed a work “pick-up” but could not produce any contemporaneous record clearly stating the reasons for the termination other than the letter of termination.  Australia Post was unable to prove that the reasons for termination did not include the worker’s back disability, and the worker was reinstated to his position as a driver. 

Stephens v Australian Post Corporation [2011] FMCA 448

Case Study – Ultimatum to unwell worker to resign or accept lower position

An Account Manager took personal leave due to anxiety and a stress disorder.  The company doctor confirmed she had anxiety and a stress disorder but said she was fit to return to work.  The company told her she could not continue as an account manager and gave her an ultimatum to either accept a telephonist role with lower salary, transfer to a sales executive position with increased workload, or resign. She took some more personal leave.  Soon after she was made redundant by the company.

The court found she was not made redundant due to her illness, but had changed her position due to illness.  The company was ordered to pay a penalty.

Penglase v Allied Express Transport Pty Ltd [2015] FCCA 804

stressed woman

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