Who can lodge a complaint
You can lodge a complaint with the Commissioner for Equal Opportunity:
- on your own behalf or
- on behalf of yourself and others.
- your union may complain on your behalf if you are a member
- if a person with an impairment is unable to write or sign their complaint, the complaint can be lodged by their advocate or carer.
How to lodge a complaint
Your complaint must be made in writing and signed by you. You may submit your Complaint Form online, but must be able to verify your identity, once the claim is accepted by the Commissioner.
Your complaint must refer to one of the grounds of discrimination, and an area of public life which is covered by the Act. You can see these grounds and areas under the Your Rights section of this website.
Your written complaint should include as much detail as possible. It it should identify the person or organisation who is said to have discriminated against you, dates and any relevant information such as witness statements, letters of dismissal or medical certificates.
Onus of proof
It is always your responsibility -as the complainant - to provide information that will support the allegations you have made. The onus of proof rests with the person making the complaint.
12 months limitation
The incident or incidents you are including in your complaint must have occurred within the 12 months previous to the date you lodge your Complaint Form.
In some circumstances the Commissioner may rule that there is good reason or good cause, to include incidents that occurred more than 12 months before the Complaint Form is lodged.
You must provide information to support any claim for consideration of incidents which occur more than 12 months before the Complaint Form is lodged.
The information which will be taken into account in deciding includes:
- The reason for the delay in making the complaint
- The reason for length of delay
- The prejudice to you if you are not able to pursue your complaint
- The prejudice to the respondent if your complaint is accepted
Complaint forms are available here. You can fill the form out online or download it and email it, post it or deliver it by hand to our office. The Contact Us pages gives you the details you may require.
What happens when a complaint is lodged
The Commissioner for Equal Opportunity reads all enquiries and complaints lodged in writing and makes a preliminary assessment about their status. If the Commissioner decides that the complaint or enquiry falls with the jurisdiction of the Act, it will be allocated to a Conciliation Officer for investigation. This may mean a complainant needs to provide more information before the matter progresses further.
You should receive an acknowledgement of receipt of your complaint/enquiry within one week. Confirmation of acceptance or otherwise, will be received usually within two weeks.
To find out more about the complaint process here read our FAQs and fact sheets:
Complaint Process Fact Sheet
You may also seek an Interim Order from the State Administrative Tribunal to protect your rights, status or situation while the investigation is under way. For more details see Interim Orders.