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Harassment

Harassment is defined as behaviour towards a person that causes mental or emotional suffering. This includes unwanted contact without a reasonable purpose, insults, threats, touching, or offensive language. Harassment can occur anywhere and at anytime, such as in social situations, the workplace or even in public. It is also important to note that a one-off incident can also constitute harassment.
Some common types of harassment are:

  • Physical harassment
  • Sexual harassment
  • Discriminatory harassment
  • Verbal harassment
  • Psychological harassment
  • Bullying

Harassment is any kind of continued mistreatment, torment or unwanted behaviour. Harassment can also be a form of discrimination if it occurs based on:

  • Gender
  • Race
  • Age
  • Marital or domestic status
  • Sexual orientation
  • Disability
  • Pregnancy

Legislation

As harassment is term that is applicable to many situations, the laws governing it are found in a myriad of areas and jurisdictions. The criminal acts of each Australian State have provisions relating to assault, sexual assault, threats and stalking. If a criminal act has occurred, it is advised that you contact the Police.
Harassment in the workplace is covered by the The Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (Cth), which protects people from discrimination in the course of employment. Further, workplace harassment is also prohibited in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). Each state and territory also has its own anti-discrimination legislation which also covers harassment.

What is a Harassment Lawyer?

A harassment lawyer will provide expert legal guidance and assistance to people that have experienced harassment or bullying under a range of circumstances. Our network of harassment lawyers are highly skilled and experienced in dealing with these types of matters, which are both sensitive but also extremely serious. A harassment lawyer will ensure that your interests are protected and aim to deliver a positive outcome that you are happy with. This can involve negotiation, commencing proceedings, or even taking criminal action against the perpetrator.

Why do I need a Harassment Lawyer?

You may need a harassment lawyer if you have been subjected to any form of harassment including:

  • Workplace discrimination, bullying or harassment
  • If you have been unfairly dismissed from your job
  • Sexual harassment which has made you feel intimidated, offended or humiliated
  • Verbal harassment
  • If you have been subject to cyberbullying
  • Any other form of harassment

A harassment lawyer will be able to help you with the claim process and understanding with Federal anti-bullying laws. They will be able to assist you to understand your rights in these various situations to help you receive the compensation you deserve.

Additionally a harassment lawyer can assist businesses to develop anti-discrimination and harassment policies, ensuring they are kept up to date. They will also be able to assist if you require representation for allegations of harassment, discrimination or bullying being made against you.

What will a Harassment Lawyer provide?

A harassment lawyer will be able to assist in explaining your rights and identifying the situations where you may be able to make a claim. They will be able to guide you through the process of filing a harassment or bullying claim to ensure your rights are protected. A harassment lawyer applies their skills and good judgement to provide advice and representation in relation to claims you have made or claims being made against you. They will also be able to advise you on your options going forward.

How much will a Harassment Lawyer charge?

Our aim at LawPath is to provide you with legal options that are fast, low cost and tailored to your needs. We’ll connect you with affordable and experienced harassment lawyers most suited to your situation. This means that you can compare across the network and choose the solution which best meets your needs.

Hourly rates and Court fees

The cost of a Harassment Lawyer will vary based on the scope of the work. Small issues likely to be addressed quickly will cost less. For matters that will need to go to the relevant Court or Tribunal, there may be additional fees involved, particularly as this work takes time. These types of matters may also involve obtaining documents and negotiating with the other party.

What can a Harassment Lawyer legally charge?

Legal costs can rise very quickly, especially in litigation. However, this is sometimes hard to avoid when work is being done by a lawyer on an hourly basis. Where fixed-fees are not offered by the lawyer, you should expect to be invoiced on a monthly basis with a time period within which you are required to make payment. Lawyers are required to adhere to the rules outlined in the relevant acts. For example, in NSW and Victoria, this is the Legal Profession Uniform Law 2014. Lawyers who do not comply with these rules can face disciplinary action from the law society of their State.

Lawyers are required to provide to their clients a document called a ‘costs disclosure’ if your costs will be higher than $750.00. This document will outline how costs will be calculated in relation to your case. Also be mindful that costs are divided into ‘professional costs’ and ‘disbursements’, and you will be expected to pay for both. Professional costs are the costs of the actual work done by the lawyer, whilst disbursements cover incidentals such as court filing fees, telephone calls, photocopying charges – amongst other things.

What if I don’t agree with the costs?

You have the right to request an itemised bill that will outline how much time was spent on each task in relation to your matter, and how this adds up to the fee you’re requested to pay. If you wish to dispute the cost, you can make a complaint to the The Office of the Legal Services Commissioner (OLSC) and they will investigate the matter and may allocate a costs assessor. You can also take further legal action in the Courts if you feel you have been unfairly charged.

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