Karim tells a story about discriminatory job advertisements and age discrimination. We explain how the Equal Opportunity Act relates to his situation, and how the Commission can help people who have a similar experience.
"The advertiser was looking for 'a driven, energetic and young marketing expert' to join their team – I thought all of those things sounded like me, but I wasn’t sure that I still qualified as 'young'. It sounded discriminatory to me."
“I’d been job-hunting for ages, and I finally found an advertisement that sounded like a good fit for my skills. The advertiser was looking for ‘a driven, energetic and young marketing expert’ to join their team – I thought all of those things sounded like me, but I wasn’t sure that I still qualified as ‘young’.
It sounded discriminatory to me, so I contacted the Commission. They offered to hold a meeting with the company, but I didn’t want that – I just wanted them to understand that they were discriminating against people because of their age and to change the wording on the ad.
The Commission helped me to draft an email to the company. They seemed to understand the issue when it was pointed out to them, and they apologised to me for the discriminatory language. The next day, I was pleased to see the ad had been taken down.”
The incidents portrayed in this story are inspired by real complaints received by the Commission, but all names and other identifying details have been changed.
How does the law apply to Karim’s story?
In Victoria, it’s against the law for you to be discriminated against or bullied because of your age, including when you are at work. Age discrimination can happens to people of all ages, whether you are young or old.
The Equal Opportunity Act applies to employers of all sizes and covers all types of workers, including full-time, part-time and casual employees, agents and contract workers, and trainees and apprentices. Age discrimination is against the law in all stages of employment, including recruitment, returning to work after injury or illness, dismissal and retrenchment.
You can make a complaint
Get help from the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.
You can make a complaint to us if you think you have experienced:
If you wish, someone else can make a complaint for you. Find out how the Commission helps people resolve complaints.
We can also give you information about your rights.
"I couldn’t believe he said it; it made me feel so uncomfortable, like he was mocking my age. It also made me feel like the work I did and the contribution I made to our office wasn’t valued at all."