What’s Been Happening in Australia in Relation to Sexual Harassment, Discrimination and Bullying from 10 – 16 January 2022

Melbourne Victory Handed Show Cause Notice After Josh Cavallo Calls Out Homophobic Abuse

Football Australia has responded to an incident at the last A-League Men match, which involved Melbourne Victory supporters directing homophobic abuse at Josh Cavallo. The Adelaide United player is the only out gay player in top-tier men’s soccer worldwide. Football Australia handed Melbourne Victory the show cause notice on 15 January, in line with the national code of conduct and ethics. Football Australia’s chief executive, James Johnson, made a public statement stating that discriminatory behaviour is “unwelcomed in football.” Mr Johnson expressed support and admiration for Josh Cavallo in calling out the abuse from Victory supporters.

Victorian Anti-Discrimination Bill Limits Religious Exceptions

The Victorian government has passed amendments to “better balance” the right to equality with freedom of religion. The changes have heavily curtailed the ability of religious organisations to discriminate on the basis of sexuality, relationship status, or otherwise. Notably, the new bill limits the scope of religious bodies to discriminate in employment decisions and when deciding whether to provide services to an individual. The bill will primarily limit religious exceptions to discriminate against members of the LGBT+ community. Jaclyn Symes MP said during the bill’s second reading that the amendments will “send a strong message to students and the broader school community that everyone deserves to be treated equally.” The bill will still enable religious organisations to teach their faith and for businesses to be shaped by religious ethos.

How IVF Cost Teacher Her Job: Religious Discrimination Under The Spotlight

A recent parliamentary inquiry heard that a Catholic primary school made arrangements to end the contact of a pregnant teacher after learning that she had undergone IVF treatment. The teacher had disclosed her experience with IVF to colleagues. The school principal told her that the child was “conceived in sin” because the conception treatment did not align with the Catholic church’s values. The employee then accepted the offer of resignation. This incident represents forms of discrimination that the Independent Education Union fears will be endorsed by the proposed religious discrimination laws.

What’s Actually Being Done About Workplace Harassment In The Video Games Industry

In recent years, the gaming industry has been in the spotlight for workplace harassment and discrimination to its employees. This has been particularly impactful on women within the industry. Last month, Riot Games paid USD$100 million to 2000 women in a settlement for a gender discrimination case. This represents a big win for employees, as a major company faced consequences for toxic workplace behaviour. Often sexist and racist comments have been excused as ‘banter’ or ‘humour’. The chief experience officer at Electronic Arts (EA) has spoken on the matter, stating that the leadership team at EA has spoken about its zero tolerance for harassment, abuse or misconduct. EA has over 11,000 employees worldwide, meaning that the company has to be extra diligent in addressing harassment and discrimination on such a wide scale. EA has introduced mandatory unconscious bias training for staff and, this year, has managed to close its gender pay gap.