Relationship status case studies

Husband needed to get a quote

A woman wanted a quote to get her roof fixed and contacted a roofing company to talk to their representative. He asked her questions about her relationship and told her that she could not get a quote for roofing without her husband present.

At conference the company apologised and explained that their representative should only ask whether she was a homeowner. They confirmed that it was not company policy to ask a woman to have her husband present and explained that the representative was no longer with the company.

The company agreed to make changes including monitoring inbound and outbound calls and including a new section in the call centre manual cautioning staff against asking personal questions of customers, and apologised to the complainant.

(Source: ADCQ annual report 2012-13)

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Relationship status and parental status discrimination in pre-work

A woman alleged that she had been requested to provide details on an employment application form about her date of birth, medical history, marital status, number of children and the ages of her children.

The Commission contacted the respondents and advised them that it was unlawful to request information on which unlawful discrimination might be based, and that the Commission had received a complaint about their employment application forms.

The respondents said they were unaware that it was unlawful to request this information and that the application form was one that had been used by the company for many years without being reviewed.

The complaint resolved when the company agreed to remove the personal questions from their employment application forms. Although not requested by the complainant, the company also forwarded her a letter of apology, and sought the Commission's advice about recruitment practices and policy implementation.

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