In some circumstances, it is against the law to discriminate against a person because of who they associate with.

Under the Racial Discrimination Act, it is against the law to discriminate against a person because of the race, colour, national or ethnic origin, or immigrant status of that person’s relative or associate. This applies in relation to employment,accessing public places or facilities, getting or using services and renting or buying a house or unit.

Under the Disability Discrimination Act, it is against the law to discriminate against a person because of his or her association with a person with a disability. This includes the person’s spouse, relative or any other person who genuinely lives with the person on a domestic basis. This applies in many areas of public life including: employment, education, getting or using services, renting or buying a house or unit and accessing public places or facilities.

Some limited exemptions and exceptions apply.

Example: An employer dismissed an employee working as a help desk engineer because the employee assisted his spouse, who was blind. This could be unlawful disability discrimination.