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What is lawful sexual activity?

Lawful sexual activity means a person’s status as a lawfully employed sex worker.

In Queensland (as in most states) it is unlawful to discriminate against a person because of their lawful sexual activity as a paid sex worker, whether they work for someone else, or are self-employed.

Generally speaking, sex work is lawful if a person:

  • works as a sole operator visiting clients, or works out of their own home, and doesn’t work with or employ any staff, except for licensed security guards, or
  • works in a licensed brothel

The law

In Queensland, the Anti-Discrimination Act makes it unlawful for you to be discriminated against on the basis of your lawful sexual activity.

For more information on protections offered in other states, you can contact our team of discrimination specialists.

What is discrimination based on lawful sexual activity?

Discrimination happens when a sex worker is treated less favourably than someone who is not a sex worker.

For example, a real estate agent might refuse to offer you a lease on a rental property when they find out your occupation.

Or a bank might refuse to give you a credit card or a home loan when they find out your occupation, even if you have a stable financial record.

Where can discrimination happen?

Unlawful discrimination on the basis of lawful sexual activity can happen at work, school, university or TAFE.

It can also happen when you are accessing goods and services – for example, if you are in a shop or a restaurant, or when you are looking for accommodation, including buying or renting a property.

Lawful sexual activity discrimination can also happen when you are applying for credit, insurance or a loan, or dealing with tradespeople, businesses or state and local governments.

How We Can Help

If you are a sex worker, and have experienced discrimination on the basis of your lawful sexual activity, our team of employment lawyers and industrial advocates at Discrimination Claims can help.

We can represent you in the Human Rights Commission or any other relevant court or tribunal.

We are specialists at representing sex workers and negotiating significant sums of compensation for those who have been subjected to discrimination on the basis of lawful sexual activity.

Make no mistake, we will fight for you until we achieve the outcome that you are looking for.

IMPORTANT:  If you have been dismissed from employment because of your lawful sexual activity, you only have 21 days from the date of your dismissal to make a claim, so don’t delay!

Read about a recent case

>>  Queensland sex worker wins $20,000 after being ‘outed’ at his day job

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LAST UPDATED: January 2023

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