Equal Employment Opportunity and Anti-Discrimination
  • 22 Jun 2022
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Equal Employment Opportunity and Anti-Discrimination

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Purpose: This policy outlines the expected behaviours specific to and key aspects of Equal Employment Opportunity and Anti-Discrimination legislations.

Scope: This policy applies to all Board members, employees, volunteers and contractors engaged by Orange Sky. In addition this policy covers activities carried out at the locations of Orange Sky services and any Orange Sky functions or events.

Introduction

Orange Sky aims to ensure equality and equal opportunity to all persons, and in an environment that is free from any activity which is prohibited by the equal opportunity legislation. Orange Sky aims to provide a working environment which is free from all forms of unlawful discrimination, harassment, bullying and other such inappropriate conduct or behaviour.
Everyone has a responsibility to comply with this policy to prevent unlawful discrimination, harassment, bullying and victimisation.

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)

Orange Sky is committed to ensuring that:

  • harassment, discrimination and bullying complaints are treated seriously;
  • complaints are attended to promptly and confidentially;
  • complaints are investigated impartially;
  • action is taken to ensure that misconduct does not continue; and
  • complainants and witnesses are not victimised in any way.

Discrimination

Discrimination is any practice that makes distinctions between individuals or groups so as to disadvantage some or advantage others. It does not have to be deliberate, conscious or planned. Orange Sky recognises the rights of individuals and groups to be free from discrimination and harassment. Orange Sky aims to ensure that unlawful discrimination on the key grounds listed below does not occur in its work environment or dealings with the public:

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Relationship status
  • Pregnancy
  • Breastfeeding
  • Parental status
  • Race
  • Sexuality
  • Family responsibilities
  • Impairment
  • Religious belief or religious activity
  • Political belief or activity
  • Trade union activity
  • Lawful sexual activity
  • Gender identity
  • Association with a person who is identified because of one of these attributes

Harassment

Harassment is a form of discrimination that can occur as a result of a single incident or a pattern of behaviour where the purpose or outcome is a hostile, offensive or intimidating work environment. It consists of unwelcome, embarrassing, unsolicited, offensive, abusive, belittling or threatening behaviour directed at an individual or group because of some real or perceived attribute such as a person’s ethnicity, sexuality, or disability, in circumstances which a reasonable person would have anticipated that the person harassed would be offended, humiliated or intimidated.

Harassment can be, but is not limited to, any one or more of the following:

  • Practical jokes;
  • Swearing;
  • Bullying;
  • A demand or inappropriate request for sexual/romantic favours;
  • Crude jokes, derogatory comments, offensive messages or phone calls;
  • Graffiti with racial overtones;
  • Name calling, physical threats and offensive gestures;
  • Campaigns of hate and silence;
  • Leering, patting, pinching, touching; and
  • Displays of offensive posters, pictures or graffiti.

If such behaviour makes a volunteer feel offended, humiliated or intimidated, then harassment and/or discrimination is occurring and immediate action is required.

Harassment can occur on the basis of any of the grounds of discrimination listed above.

Eye of the Beholder

Perception of the behaviour is critical (i.e. eye of the beholder).
Each individual has the right to react to particular behaviour(s) in ways which are valid for them.
Even if behaviour does not offend the person to whom it is directed, others overhearing or present whilst such behaviour is occurring may take offence and feel that they are being harassed.

Sexual harassment

Sexual harassment is any verbal, written or physical behaviour of a sexual nature that is unwelcome and uninvited where the harasser in all the circumstances should have reasonably anticipated that the other person would be offended, humiliated or intimidated.

Sexual harassment occurs where the conduct or activity is not welcomed by one party, and includes but is not limited to:

  • suggestive comments about a person’s body or appearance;
  • leering or staring at a person;
  • sexist jokes, insults or taunting;
  • pornographic material;
  • verbal or written abuse;
  • unnecessary touching of a person;
  • rubbing up against a person or leaning close over them;
  • repeated unwelcome invitations to dinner or social events; and
  • attempting to use a work position to compel personal favours.

Note: mutual attraction (i.e. consensual, welcome and reciprocated interactions) is not sexual harassment.

Workplace bullying

Workplace bullying is defined as repeated and unreasonable behaviour directed towards a worker or a group of workers that creates a risk to health and safety. Workers include all volunteers, employees and contractors.

Repeated behaviour refers to the persistent nature of the behaviour and can involve a range of behaviours over time.

Unreasonable behaviour means behaviour that a reasonable person, having regard for the circumstances, would see as unreasonable, including behaviour that is victimising, humiliating, intimidating or threatening.

Examples of behaviour, whether intentional or unintentional, that may be considered to be workplace bullying if they are repeated, unreasonable and create a risk to health and safety include:

  • abusive, insulting or offensive language or comments;
  • unjustified criticism or complaints;
  • continuously and deliberately excluding someone from workplace activities;
  • withholding information that is vital for effective work performance;
  • setting unreasonable timelines or constantly changing deadlines;
  • setting tasks that are unreasonably below or beyond a person’s skill level;
  • denying access to information, supervision, consultation or resources such that it has a detriment to the worker;
  • spreading misinformation or malicious rumours;
  • changing work arrangements, such as rosters and leave, to deliberately inconvenience a particular person or group of people; and
  • excessive scrutiny.

A single incident of unreasonable behaviour is not considered to be workplace bullying; however, it may have the potential to escalate and should not be ignored.

Victimisation

Victimisation occurs when a person is treated or threatened to be treated in an adverse manner as a result of:

  • Making or threatening to make an EEO complaint;
  • Making an allegation that a person has committed an act, which would amount to a breach of anti-discrimination law; or
  • Supporting an EEO complaint made by another person (e.g. acting as a witness).
  • The motive for victimisation is irrelevant. A complaint of victimisation can be successful even if the underlying EEO complaint does not succeed.

Role of Contact Officer

The Contact Officer may be the initial point of contact for volunteers wishing to obtain information about resolving an EEO related issue. Orange Sky has Contact Officer(s) who are suitably trained to undertake this role.

The role of the Contact Officer is to:

  • be the primary point of contact;
  • provide information on Orange Sky policies, complaints procedures and law;
  • help the complainant choose the best option for them;
  • act as a role model;
  • promote Orange Sky policies;
  • provide general statistical information to management; and
  • maintain confidentiality and impartiality.

Contact Officers are not required to:

  • advise what course of action to take;
  • investigate the complaint;
  • solve the complaint on the complainant’s behalf;
  • report on the specifics of cases; or
  • initiate or recommend any disciplinary action applicable to either the complainant or the respondent.

Orange Sky contact officers

All of our contact officers are located at Brisbane HQ.

Name

Email

Daniel Glaubert

daniel@orangesky.org.au

Garrith Parker

garrith@orangesky.org.au


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