The Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (SA) prohibits discrimination in employment on the grounds of age, sex, sexuality marital status, pregnancy, race or physical and intellectual impairment. It also prohibits victimisation and sexual harassment, including sexual harassment of an employee by an employer or another employee. Complaints must be made to the Commissioner for Equal Opportunity within 12 months of the incident. If a complaint is not resolved by conciliation it goes before the South Australian Employment Tribunal, which has a wide range of powers.
The rights contained in the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (SA) must also be considered alongside similar rights provided by federal anti-discrimination law:
The scope of federal legislation differs sometimes from that of the State law. The Commonwealth Acts are not intended to exclude or limit the operation of Equal Opportunity Act which is capable of operating concurrently with them, so complainants must choose whether to take proceedings under the State or the Commonwealth law, for they cannot take proceedings under both. See further the Law Handbook sections on discrimination.
Where a worker is dismissed in a discriminatory way they may also have to choose whether to exercise their rights under anti-discrimination legislation (Federal or State), or the provisions governing termination of employment in either the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (for federal employees) or the Fair Work Act 1994 (SA) (for other employees).
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