Homophobia, biphobia and transphobia have been identified as reasons why some people who identify as, or are perceived to be, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and/or queer (LGBTIQ) experience bullying, harassment, violence, discrimination and/or vilification.
This behaviour may not be deliberate, such as a passing comment or joke. Or it may be a deliberate act to make another person uncomfortable, intimidated, hurt or injured such as name calling or assault. Whether deliberate, or unconscious, behaviours about someone’s gender or sexual orientation that are harmful are not acceptable in the workplace.
If you are experiencing homophobia, transphobia, discrimination or harassment contact your local Federation Organiser for advice, or alternatively call Professional Support on 1300 654 369.
As an employer, the Department of Education in NSW has the responsibility to provide a safe working environment for its employees.
Most Departmental policies do not specifically reference LGBTIQ people, but are still relevant when dealing with homophobia, transphobia, discrimination or biased based bullying & harassment in the workplace. These include the Code of Conduct Policy, the Dignity and Respect in the Workplace Charter, the Complaints Handling Policy and Complaints Handling Guidelines. Health and Safety policy and procedures may also apply.
Discrimination against someone because of their sex or sexuality (i.e. you are gay or lesbian; someone thinks you are gay or lesbian; or because you have a relative, friend, associate or work colleague who is gay or lesbian, or someone thinks they are gay or lesbian) is against the law – including in employment.
It is also against the law in NSW to treat someone unfairly or harass them because they are transgender, or because they have a relative, friend, associate or work colleague who is transgender.
Information about LGBTI people’s human rights as well as information from projects and publications by the Human Rights Commission are accessible on the Commission’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Equality webpage.