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VIC Workplace Bullying and Discrimination at Work Placement

Discussion in 'Employment Law Forum' started by monica-ann, 1 August 2014.

  1. monica-ann

    monica-ann Member

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    Hello,

    I was doing my work placement and my mentor discriminated against me because of my religion. She asked me about my religion, and then she treated me badly, didn't support me, unwelcome me, offended and degraded me. She didn’t support me, and at the date of the report she said she didn’t know she should mentor me and she didn’t observe me, but the university sent her all the documents and the director wrote her name on my acceptance form, but she was trying to destroy me.

    I asked her to contact my uni and ask them for paper work. She called them and asked for papers, but she refused to write the report and asked me to give her personal information about me and about my previous work phone number. She interfered in my privacy. I cried when she refused to write the report and I gave her my previous director number as she want to ask her about my work to finish my report. She did call my previous director, but the director's assistant answered her and told her the director wasn't there. So she wrote bad interim report and she refused to give a copy from this report and withholding information about her support plan.

    So I called my Uni and I told them about that, and I told them its an unfair report and i want to change the place, but they said it is too late to do that. One of the work placement team called her to ask her to support me and to ask her to give me a photo copy of my report. After that she gave me a copy, and treated me very badly, until the end date of my work placement. She wrote the final report and fail me, from this minute I'm suffering from depression and tension headache and I my doctor described anti-depressant medicine and strong pain killer, and my Uni offered me a counselling service. I want to know what is the legal advice to ask for compensation because I think this is workplace bullying and discrimination affected me physically and psychologically and even socially.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. AnnaLJ

    AnnaLJ Well-Known Member

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    Hi Monica-Ann,

    I'm sorry to hear about what happened to you, doesn't sound like a very nice experience at all!

    I just wanted to ask a few questions before I give my thoughts on this situation: You said this was during a work placement, does this mean it wasn't employment per se? Was it a paid work placement? And was it arranged through a university or other institution?

    Thanks,

    Anna
     
  3. monica-ann

    monica-ann Member

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    Hi Anna,

    It was through an unpaid work placement, I wasn't employee there, and it was arranged through the university.
    Kind regards


    Monica
     
  4. AnnaLJ

    AnnaLJ Well-Known Member

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    Hi Monica-Ann

    Thanks for confirming it was an unpaid placement. I was asking this to see whether it would fall under the provisions of workplace discrimination laws (religion being a recognised attribute for discrimination). As it was unpaid work, the only way it would fall within workplace discrimination is if you were denied future work/a role on the basis of discrimination (for example, if this placement was a trial period for a permanent role etc and you could show your religion was the basis for you being unsuccessful).

    Workplace discrimination aside though, there are anti-discrimination laws in each Australian state/territory. Do you mind me asking what state you are based in? Each of these state laws dictate the areas within which anti-discrimination law applies (eg, employment, goods and services, education, accomodation etc). You may need to show your situation fell within one of these areas where discrimination is prohibited.

    If you let me know what State you are based in I may be able to give you a clearer idea of any remedies available to you.

    Thanks,

    Anna
     
  5. monica-ann

    monica-ann Member

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    HI Anna,
    Im from Melbourne
     
  6. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to hear about your experiences. Does this work experience affect any of your Uni course results?

    Recommend you learn from it and grow as person. It sounds like you are still young and have your future ahead of you.

    I strongly recommend that you do not pursue legal options. It will sap your life for very little gain. Learn from the experience and take a detached professional view on what happened to you rather than let your emotions rule your life. If you are studying at Uni sounds like you want to become a professional in some role, so use this event as training for your professional life.

    Leave this experience in the past and focus on your Uni course and get good results and look forward to a good well paying job.

    All the best.
     
  7. AnnaLJ

    AnnaLJ Well-Known Member

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    Hi Monica

    As you are based in Victoria, any potential claim for discrimination would fall under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic), which protects you from discrimination in public aspects of your life such as those I mentioned above (ie, employment, education etc).

    I don't know that this would fall strictly within the 'education' or 'employment' areas of public life, due to the nature of it being an unpaid work placement. Though, what I would recommend you do is contact the Victorian Human Rights Commission and consider making a formal complaint through them.

    Here are their details:

    Phone: 1300 891 848
    TTY: 1300 289 621
    Email: complaints@veohrc.vic.gov.au

    I agree with Rod that this may cause you some stress pursuing it, though if it has the potential to affect your university marks and is still causing you emotional stress regardless then you might be put at ease by making this complaint.

    I would also be advising the University of this so that that can consider not using the employer for work placements in the future.
    Best of luck and I hope you can move forward positively from this.

    Thanks,

    Anna
     

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