The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has tabled a report in Federal Parliament setting out its finding that an employer discriminated against an applicant for a market analyst position on the basis of his criminal record.
The applicant, who had previously worked for the employer, had two drink-driving convictions. The applicant failed to disclose one of the offences to the employer. Despite being the preferred candidate and meeting the selection criteria, the employer did not offer employment to the applicant, on the basis that he was incapable of performing the inherent requirements of the position, including complying with the employer’s drug and alcohol policy. The applicant made a complaint to the AHRC.
The AHRC held that there was “no tight or close connection between the inherent requirements of the job and the exclusion of (the applicant) from employment”. The absence of a criminal record was not an inherent requirement of the position and the applicant was not required to drive or engage in “safety critical” activity. The offences were unrelated to his employment and had not been committed during work hours. The AHRC found that the applicant’s failure to disclose one offence was “irrelevant” because this wasn’t the reason for the employer’s decision not to hire him.
The AHRC recommended that the employer pay the employee $7,500 in compensation for hurt, humiliation and distress.