What is disability discrimination?

Disability discrimination means that someone treats you unfairly or less favourably because of your disability.

Discrimination may not always be unlawful – there are exemptions, such as some court rulings or matters to do with public health – but unlawful discrimination applies most often to complaints about the workplace, educational institutions and access to public spaces.

The following are the laws that apply to and deal with unlawful disability discrimination in Victoria:

  • Victorian law – the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 of Victoria
  • Commonwealth law – the Disability Discrimination Act 1992
  • For employment cases – the Fair Work Act 2009.

It was held that the ATO had terminated his employment on the basis of an imputed disability (severe hypertension) – that is, one he did not actually have.

The Court did not order reinstatement, given that five years had passed since the job offer had been withdrawn and that Mr Gordon now had another job, but he was awarded significant damages.