Lucho: homophobic language at work

Lucho is affected by the homophobic language used by the guys at work. It starts affecting his productivity.

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Almost 20% of workers say they have experienced discomfort due to sexual humour


One in five LGB Australians is currently experiencing depression, which is more than triple the rate of heterosexual Australians.

Source: ABS

21% of Australians have taken time off work in the past 12 months because they felt stressed, anxious, depressed or mentally unhealthy.

Source: Heads up (PDF)

Why is Lucho's
story important?

Discrimination and workplace relations laws require employers to be inclusive of people from all sexualities, genders, race and ability.
It is the law, and is important to young people today.

Some people use deliberate or off-hand homophobic, sexist and racist language in the workplace, but not outside of it. There is no reason the workplace should tolerate this kind of language and attitudes.

If casual discrimination is normalised, it can create tension and stress at work, and widen the gap between generations of workers.
This impacts productivity, diversity and workplace-culture.

What can you do?

As a Manager you must be a role model. What you say matters. Use tolerant and accepting language. Be aware of what you say and call out negative language when you hear it. For example, terms that have been used previously can be be offensive today. Ensure your Code of Conduct policy accurately defines how people should behave and talk in the workplace.

Have clear, strong policies that exclude discrimination of any kind in the workplace. Ensure current staff know your position, and that new staff learn during induction.

If someone reports an incident of discrimination, follow through with action.

Ensure the workplace is a safe space for people to express their opinions without getting attacked. Consider sharing this story with you staff and talk about what casual discrimination at work looks like.

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