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Brisbane-Lawyer, Solicitor - Admitted 2005
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 14361
Experience:  I did my law degree at the University of Queensland
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Hello, I recently asked to be taken off a night work schedule

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Hello, I recently asked to be taken off a night work schedule and cited that as I did not have a care any longer I had to walk home at night in the dark around 9.15pm. The week before there had been an incident with a man whom I thought was drug affected. Nothing happened, I ran home and that was that. I decided that I should ask that I be taken off that one night and checked with other staff if I would inconvenience them . They said no and I emailed my line manager and general manager. After some days I asked my line manager if he had heard back. He gave me a number of different answers, but one of them was that my request would be looked at in late September, after my holidays. I responded that that meant that I would have to walk alone at night to my home for another 6 wks and that I would like the situation to be cleared up as soon as possbile. I then asked him why others in the workplace were given quick responses and were able to adjust their work hours when this was a safety issue. He stated that they had children and that they had to put this priority first. I said that that was fair enough but that my safety was also important. I was starting to get upset that because I didnt have children my position was not that important. He stated, that that's how 'we' see it. I stated that I felt discriminated against in that case and if that was the case I would look into some form of legal action. I stated that I have legal people in my family and they would do this work for me. He then said well he would go back to his manager again. I again stated that I wanted it done quickly please and he said that it probably wouldn't be looked at until late September. I then threw my pen down on the desk and walked out shutting the door noisily behind me.

My general manager a couple of days later called me into the office and stated that this man had reported that I was threatening Centacare with a discrimination case and that I had intimidated him by throwing my pen on the desk. He was concerned that I had stated that I could access legal advice through my family.

I stated to my General Manager that I had every right to access advice if I felt that I was discriminated against because 'you dont have children'. I also stated that I was sorry if my manager felt intimidated by my throwing my pen on the desk, but it was not aimed at him in anyway and that I was expressing my frustration with the whold situation. She agreed that I have every right to seek advice and or action if anything discriminatory seemed or was happening in the workplace.
I am hoping that my position will be understood but I am seeking some advice from you just in case.

You haven't broken the law here, although I could see how throwing your pen on the desk could be intimidating to some people. But in any event, you haven't done anything wrong and that should be the end of the matter.

As for your claim of discrimination, in law you can only make a discrimination claim if the discrimination is based on things like gender, religion, race, disability, etc. It is actually legal to discriminate against someone for not having a family.

If you're satisfied with the results of your question, then I'll ask you to please provide positive feedback so that I will get credit for the time spent on your question. Your question can continue even after you leave positive feedback, so if you have any follow up questions please don't be afraid to ask.
Brisbane-Lawyer and other Australia Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I would also like to know if saying that I am seeking legal advice is considered a threat to an organisation. That is their claim, that I am threatening them when I said that I would seek legal advice.