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When is discrimination against the law?

Only certain types of discrimination are unlawful in South Australia.

Discrimination is against the law when it:

  1. is based on a personal characteristic
  2. happens in an area of public life
  3. causes loss or humiliation.

There is a time limit to complain. Contact us for more information.

Discrimination can be direct or indirect. Indirect discrimination appears to be equal treatment but is unfair on certain people because of a particular personal characteristic.

For it to be unlawful, it must be also unreasonable.

Example (direct discrimination)

Gerry applied for a hotel management course.  He was refused enrolment because at 46 he was considered "too old".  Gerry could claim he was discriminated against by the course organisers because of his age.

Example (indirect discrimination)

A factory announced that workers with ten continuous years service would get a pay rise. More women than men had interrupted their service to have children, so fewer women got the rise. Female workers could claim they were indirectly discriminated against by the factory.


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