Sometimes losing work, or having your shifts cut when others haven't, can be discrimination. It is against the law for an employer to cut your shifts because of your
- association with a child
- caring responsibilities
- chosen gender
- marital or domestic partnership status
- religious appearance or dress (in work or study)
- spouse or partner's identity
Because you have turned 21
If your shifts have been reduced after turning 21 years of age, you may be able to make a complaint of age discrimination.
Lisa had worked for a supermarket since she was 15 years old and was now in her mid twenties. She used to work 16 hours a week but her hours had steadily been reduced, even though new positions for more juniors had been advertised. Lisa was told that she was more expensive to employ than junior staff. Lisa could claim she was discriminated against because of her age.
Because of pregnancy
If your shifts have been reduced or cut altogether after becoming pregnant, you may be able to make a complaint of pregnancy discrimination.
Juliet worked at a book store. She told the manager that she was pregnant and asked if she could swap a shift to attend a doctor's appointment. The following week she was told she had not been rostered on for any shifts, as the manager would only roster people who were available for all opening hours. Juliet could claim she was discriminated against by the manager because of her pregnancy.
Because you have made a complaint
Losing shifts because you have made a complaint, either internally or with the Equal Opportunity Commission can be victimisation.
Jaidyn worked in a bottle shop. His boss often propositioned him, tried to give him massages while he was working and commented on his body. Jaidyn complained of sexual harassment to the regional manager, but after his complaint he was no longer rostered for work. Jaidyn had been victimised for making a complaint.
If you think that your shifts have been cut because of discrimination, sexual harassment or victimisation in your workplace, contact us for advice or to make a complaint.