Could It Get Easier For People To Say Yuck Stuff About Women In The Workplace? Attorney-General: No, Lawyers: Yes.

‘You’re a woman in the workplace and a colleague says that women should be obedient or subservient to their husbands, that single mothers are sinners, or that abortion is murder.’

‘You try to make a complaint to your state or territory anti-discrimination tribunal, or to the Human Rights Commission under the Sex Discrimination Act. But under newly passed legislation, you can’t anymore, as your colleague claims it was a “statement of belief” in line with his religious beliefs.’

‘If you want to take it to court you’ll likely have to cough up lawyers fees. Your colleague, meanwhile, only needs one other person of his religion to agree that the statement is in line with the teachings of their religion. If your employer disciplines your colleague for his comments, your boss faces their own discrimination claim for reprimanding a person of faith based on their beliefs. Your no-costs legal option becomes a potential court case. Is it really worth it anymore?’

‘This is the hypothetical scenario legal and women’s equality organisations are saying could play out if the government’s proposed religious discrimination bill passes.’

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