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.

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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 cafĂ© 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.

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Information and enquiry service

Individuals, employers and business operators can access the Commission's statewide telephone information and enquiry service.

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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.

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