An HIV-positive man who claimed that a colleague had informed his mother he had died, and that other colleagues and superiors had made inappropriate sexual comments, was awarded $15,000 in compensation. His case is one of many outlined in the 2000-2001 annual report of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission which was recently released in Canberra. Despite denying the man had been harassed or discriminated against on the basis of his sexual preference, his employers agreed to pay damages because they conceded he had been harassed by three co-workers. Current figures show that taxpayers paid $207,500 last financial year to commonwealth employees who were allegedly discriminated against or abused by their colleagues. Complaints received by HREOC in 2000-2001 under various acts include 267 instances of race discrimination, 339 of sex discrimination, 443 of disability discrimination, and 214 of human rights violations. The HREOC annual report can be viewed in full at www.hreoc.gov.au.

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