The Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person because of their association with, or relation to, a person identified on the basis of a prohibited attribute.
The legislation recognises that a person may be discriminated against not because of an attribute that they posses or have, but due to their association or connection with a person who does have a an attribute.
The prohibited attributes are: sex, relationship status, pregnancy, breastfeeding, age, race, impairment, religious belief or activity, political belief or activity, trade union activity, lawful sexual activity, gender identity, sexuality and family responsibilities.
Association discrimination examples
- A man of African descent and his non-African girlfriend went to a night club. The attendant at the door said that they don't allow African people in the club, and that includes anyone accompanying them.
- A woman and her friend who relies on a guide dog went to a café for a meal. Instead of being shown to a table, the head waiter said that he was very sorry but he could not have them in the dining room, because dogs were not allowed.
- A man and his partner worked at the same restaurant. When the restaurant became aware that the man was HIV positive, he was sacked as was his partner.
- A woman who works as a lawfully employed sex worker went to enrol her child at a daycare centre. The centre manager refused to enrol the child because of the mother's lawful work.
Information and enquiry service
Individuals, employers and business operators can access the Commission's statewide telephone information and enquiry service.
Making a complaint
Make a complaint to the Commission on the Complaint Form about association discrimination.
The complaint must be lodged with the Commission within 1 year of the discrimination happening.
The Commission's service is free.