When it comes to suing your employer for discrimination or harassment the law is on your side. Or is it?
In Australia, we’ve had the Sex Discrimination Act since 1984 and the Racial Discrimination Act since 1975. Similar laws exist in most Western countries. But enforcing these laws can make your life a living hell.
The recent case of British police officer Carol Howard, is a painful illustration of the high price that people can pay for speaking out against discrimination.
Howard sued the Metropolitan police for sex and race discrimination after repeated harassment, including her boss ordering junior officers to ask about her sex life and whether she was sleeping with a colleague.
Aside from the stress of litigation, she also had to endure further harassment and reputation damage as retribution for speaking out.