Apply to resolve a dispute about unlawful discrimination, sexual harassment, victimisation or vilification
If you have experienced unlawful discrimination, sexual harassment, victimisation or vilification you may apply to VCAT under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 or the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001.
Under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 you can apply directly to VCAT for resolution of your case or you can lodge a dispute with the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission. Lodging a dispute with the Commission does not stop a party from withdrawing that dispute and making an application to VCAT.
Learn more at the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission website about what constitutes discrimination, sexual harassment, victimisation or vilification.
Before you apply
Before you apply to VCAT, consider whether you should apply to the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC). The Commission provides dispute resolution services.
You could also consider contacting the other party to see if you can settle the dispute between you. If you cannot come to an agreement that resolves the dispute, you may apply to VCAT. Read more about what you need to do before applying to VCAT.
Need help with your application?
VCAT cannot give you legal advice. Seek legal help if you are unsure about your legal options. The following services may be able to help you:
Do I need a lawyer or professional representative?
You do not need to have legal or other professional representation to appear at VCAT. If you wish to be represented by a lawyer or a professional advocate, usually you must ask for VCAT's permission.
Find free or low-cost legal services that may be able to assist you.
Access and privacy
VCAT hearings and files are usually public.
VCAT has limited authority to restrict who can access cases and files but, in certain circumstances, you can apply for confidentiality. For more about applying for confidentiality.
Legislation that applies to this type of case
Cases VCAT can hear
- Discrimination applications lodged direct with VCAT under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010;
- Discrimination complaints referred from the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission under the old Act (Equal Opportunity Act 1995) and the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001.
Many cases at VCAT are decided at a final hearing. Prepare early so you can present the best possible case. Make sure you give others enough time to help you prepare and appear as witnesses at a hearing. Find out more about how to prepare for your final hearing.
Many people choose to represent themselves at VCAT, without engaging a lawyer. You do not need to have a lawyer or a professional representative. Usually you must ask for VCAT's permission to have someone represent you. Read more about professional representation at VCAT.
Remember your reference number
VCAT gives you a reference number for your case. Use this number whenever you contact us or the other people involved in the case.
Access and privacy
VCAT hearings and files are usually public. We have limited authority to restrict access to information except in certain circumstances. If you would like the proceeding file to be closed to anyone, you can make an application to VCAT. Learn more about applying for confidentiality.
If you need assistance at VCAT (including interpreters, hearing loop, video or telephone links, or family violence support) please contact us as early as possible so we can assist you. Learn more about customer support at VCAT.