If a complainant wins their case at a hearing, the Tribunal will order a remedy. One of the remedies for discrimination is a payment to make up for the harm to the complainant. It is not meant to punish the respondent.
Sometimes, complainants do not ask for this remedy. For example, they may just want the Tribunal to order the respondent to stop the discrimination.
A complainant must ask for this remedy if they want it. Both parties will have a chance to tell the Tribunal how much they think the Tribunal should order.
In the ten years from 2009 to 2019:
The awards have been increasing over time. From 2015 to 2019, 31% of the orders were $5,000 or less, while 22% were over $20,000. Only two awards have been over $50,000.
The amount ordered depends on two things:
The Tribunal considers any facts that show how the discrimination affected the complainant's dignity, feelings, and self-respect. This includes facts about the discrimination, the complainant's vulnerability, and the effect on the complainant.
The facts about the discrimination help the Tribunal decide what effect the discrimination had. This includes:
For example: If the complainant was fired from a job, this may have a bigger effect than if the complainant did not get a promotion.
For example: If an employer fired the complainant by email when they were on disability leave, this may have a bigger effect than if the employer handled it in a respectful way.
For example: If a supervisor harassed a complainant for 5 months, this might have a bigger effect than if the harassment went on for 2 months.
For example: If a supervisor harassed a complainant every day, this might have a bigger effect than if it happened twice a month.
Some situations make harmful effects more likely. For example:
The complainant is young and the respondent was an older person in a position of authority.
The complainant was fired when she was five months pregnant and needed her job to support her children.
The complainant has a mental disability that many people have negative attitudes about.
The Tribunal also considers how the discrimination affected the complainant. This includes:
Medical evidence is not required but it can help prove health effects. It can be important if the health effects are serious, such as long-term depression.
The Tribunal compares the facts of the complaint to other cases with similar facts.
The Tribunal usually looks at recent cases because over time it has increased the amounts it awards.
To see examples of orders in cases like yours, click the links: