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Trish’s story

Trish talks about age discrimination in the workplace. We explain how the Equal Opportunity Act relates to her situation, and how the Commission can help people who have a similar experience.

"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."

“I’ve been an accountant for my whole working life, and I’ve been at my current firm for years. I’d always thought my experience was one of my assets – until my manager told me one day that he wished I’d ‘hurry up and retire’ because I was too old and there were too many women in the office. 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.

I told one of my colleagues and said it sounded like age discrimination. She suggested I contact the Commission – they organised a meeting with my manager and, after I explained how it made me feel, he agreed to pay me some financial compensation.”

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 Trish’s situation?

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.

More information

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"We got a new supervisor who was a couple of decades younger than me. She was chatty and wanted to be friends with all the younger staff, but she treated me like I was old and out of touch."

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Address
Level 3, 204 Lygon Street Carlton Victoria 3053

General enquiries
enquiries@veohrc.vic.gov.au

Reception
1300 891 848

Enquiry line
1300 292 153 or (03) 9032 3583

Interpreters
1300 152 494

NRS Voice Relay
1300 555 727 then use 1300 292 153

Media enquiries
0447 526 642

The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as First Australians and recognises their culture, history, diversity and deep connection to the land.

We acknowledge that the Commission is on the land of the Kulin Nation and pay our respects to Elders past and present.