This information resource is for private sector employees in Western Australia. It is general information only and not intended to be a substitute for legal advice. By using the information on this page, you agree to our full disclaimer.

There are two systems of employment law in Western Australia: a state system and a national system. While this information resource is suitable for both state system employees and national system employees, it will help you to know which system of employment law you are covered by. If you are unsure, please see our publication Q&A: State or national for WA employees.

Quick Summary

In the workplace, a worker may be treated differently from other workers because they have a certain characteristic such as their age or gender. Where a person is treated differently due to a characteristic that is protected by law it may be unlawful discrimination.  For example, it is against the law for someone to discriminate against someone based on race, colour, sex, and age. These are protected characteristics.

For discrimination to be unlawful, it must relate to a protected characteristic. For example, you may feel like you are being discriminated against because of your hair or because you smoke. However, this is not unlawful discrimination as it does not concern a protected characteristic.

Where discrimination is unlawful, the person who is being targeted may be able to make a legal claim against a person who is discriminating against them, and against their employer for allowing it to happen.