Skip navigation
Bullying, discrimination & harassment

Workplace bullying is defined as repeated and persistent verbal, social or psychological abuse carried out by your employer, supervisor, co-workers or customers. Some examples of bullying in the workplace include: 

  • Yelling at you, especially in front of other workers or customers.
  • Physical or verbal intimidation.
  • Psychological abuse and gaslighting.

Due to existing power imbalances at work, apprentices are more likely to be vulnerable to bullying from their boss, supervisor or other workers. In 2022, around 30% of calls made to our legal center were related to workplace bullying, and we are sure that there is many more young workers out there who have experienced bullying at work and have not reported it. 

Brodie's Law - In Victoria, we have very strict legislation surrounding workplace bullying which is known as Brodie's Law. Introduced in 2011, Brodie's Law makes workplace bullying a crime, punishable by up to 10 years in prison. This law doesn't exist to send people to jail, it exists so that workers can use it to defend themselves to stop bullying when it is happening at work. 

For more information about Brodies Law, click here:

You have the right to feel safe at work and it is your employers responsibility to ensure the workplace is free from bullying.

Click here to view our 5 tips for dealing with workplace bullying.

Discrimination is defined as the unjust or prejudicial treatment of a person because of particular characteristics, including: 

  • age
  • gender
  • race
  • religion
  • disability
  • sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status. 
  • physical features

The Equality Opportunity Act (2010) protects workers from all types of discrimination throughout all stages of employment, including recruitment, training, promotion, dismissal and redundancy. 

For more information about The Equality Act (2010), click here: 

Sexual harassment encompasses a rage of inappropriate conduct surrounding work including: 

  • Unwelcome physical touching
  • Sexual or suggestive comments
  • Unwelcome requests or 'compliments'
  • Displaying sexual materials 
  • Gendered and sexualised dress codes

It is important to note that sexual harassment is based on how it is perceived by the worker, not by the boss. If someone or something at work is making you feel unsafe and/or uncomfortable at work, then that's not on. 

Being free from sexual harassment is part of your safety rights as an apprentice and its the employers responsibility to make sure that the workplace is free from harassment of any kind. 

Speak up and get help if you are an apprentice experiencing bullying, discrimination or sexual harassment at work. 

  • Young Workers Centre - our lawyers can give you advice on what to do and can even help you file claims like 'unfair dismissal', if you have been discriminated against and fired from your job. Call us on 1800 714 754 or click here to make a work-related issue enquiry.
  • Apprentice Support Officer 1300 311 820
  • Your Union
  • WorkSafe 1800 136 089 
  • Headspace 1800 551 800
  • Lifeline 13 11 14
  • Victorian Registration & Qualifications Authority (VRQA) 1300 722 603