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Goods and services

Equal opportunity law applies to withholding goods and services from people or giving them different terms or conditions.

Jackson v Homestart Finance [2013] SAEOT 13

In a decision of the SA Equal Opportunity Tribunal, it was held that a young man and his mother were discriminated against by Homestart Finance on the grounds of the son’s intellectual disability.

Age discrimination against older drivers


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Radio Adelaide

Interview with Robyn Dwight on Radio Adelaide's Roundabout.

Hotel staff guilty of race discrimination

District Court Judge Susanne Cole has upheld a complaint of racial discrimination against the Ceduna Community Hotel.

In a decision delivered in the Equal Opportunity Tribunal on 15 December, Judge Cole found the hotel had discriminated against Joylene Haynes because of her race. Judge Cole ordered the hotel to pay Ms Haynes $3000 in compensation.

Breathing apparatus not covered by insurance

Adam uses a portable machine to assist his breathing because he has sleep apnoea. Planning to travel overseas, he tried to obtain additional luggage coverage as part of his travel insurance. to cover the machine. He was informed that the policy covered laptops, notebooks, handheld computers, cameras and video cameras up to $4,000, but all other items up to a value of only $700.

Through conciliation, the insurer committed to review its policy requiring an additional premium for insuring items used for medical purposes, and would reimburse Adam the premium he payed for the sleep apnoea machine.

Woman refused service without her husband present


Davide rang a company to enquire about buying a rainwater tank. She wanted to make an appointment for someone to visit and discuss the purchase, but she was asked if her husband would be present. Davide said that she did not know - and anyway she was paying for the tank, not him. The person on the telephone told her that it was company policy not to conduct business with women unless their husbands were present, and they refused to send a salesman to discuss the purchase without Davide’s husband being there.

The company apologised if their process upset or offended her. Davide was happy with this response, and this ended the complaint.

Council causes problems for disabled person and her carer

Corinna had a disability and was cared for by Bill. Corinna and Bill, claimed discrimination on the grounds of disability and caring responsibilities. They arranged for their local council to perform work on the street and footpath outside their house, but the Council provided minimal notice of the commencement of work. Due to Corinna's disability she was unable to walk long distances, and could not walk to the end of the street where the only car parking was available. So she and Bill stayed in a hotel for the duration of the work.

In a conciliation conference, the Council agreed to reimburse Bill and Corinna's expenses in staying away from home. This amounted to $1,350. The Council also gave an assurance that their practices would be reviewed.

Monica refused her prize because she isn't married

Monica entered a competition at an expo in Adelaide and received a phone call to tell her she had won a holiday.  She was told that she could collect the voucher when she attended a seminar in the southern suburbs.

An apology was offered, Monica was sent two holiday vouchers, and the company made a commitment to train staff about discrimination.

Public transport passenger called a 'poofter'

Rudy found that his public transport ticket was not working.  He took it to an inspector, Ian, who yelled and spoke to Rudy as if he was doing something wrong.  Rudy reported it to the transport company, and as a result he received an apology.  However, he came across Ian on the same service a few days later and he called Rudy a "poofter".

At conciliation, Rudy accepted the apology and the settlement proposed put forward by the company, which was that they would provide copies of relevant policies to Rudy, to investigate the allegations of Ian's misconduct in accordance with its disciplinary procedure, to review its complaint procedures and the timeliness of its response to complaints, to complete harassment and bullying training for all staff, to provide an outline of the training to the complainant, to review and monitor behaviour in the workplace, to send Rudy twelve concession tickets allowing travel before 9 am, and six concession multi-trip tickets allowing travel between 9am and 3pm and to pay Rudy $1,000.

Threatened in own home because of sexuality

Mike and Greg lived together in an Adelaide suburb.  Their property was assessed by the local council for installation of a new driveway.

At conciliation, the Council agreed to provide all contract workers with written information about their responsibilities regarding discrimination, that all people requesting a copy of council policy will receive one free of charge and a made a commitment to ensure that their staff are aware of their discrimination policy. A payment of $500 each was made to Mark and Greg for injury to feeling.

Couple refused service at a restaurant with their 3 year old daughter

John and Judith were refused service at a small inner-city restaurant because they brought their three year old daughter and her buggy with them.  The reasons given by Hiro, the owner, were that the restaurant was busy, they were expecting people later in the evening, and the stroller/buggy they had brought for their daughter was too large.

The couple made a complaint of age discrimination.

The matter was settled with Hiro agreeing to attend equal opportunity training at the Commission, at no cost to himself.
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