Woman fired for 'overall young look'

The Melbourne woman was told she looked too young and was too short to be turned into a sales person. An ombudsman has ordered a real estate agent to pay her $1200 in compensation. Photo / Thinkstock
The Melbourne woman was told she looked too young and was too short to be turned into a sales person. An ombudsman has ordered a real estate agent to pay her $1200 in compensation. Photo / Thinkstock

A Melbourne real estate agent will pay $1200 in compensation to a former female employee sacked for looking too young.

The Fair Work Ombudsman found Buxton's Sandringham branch discriminated against the woman, who was 23 when she was employed casually as a personal assistant in June 2010.

She was dismissed a month later, shortly after helping out at an auction by recording bids.

She was told by a male sales consultant some of the company's directors were concerned she looked too young, was too short, and wouldn't have the presence to negotiate effectively at auctions.

The consultant told her he needed someone he could turn into a sales person and this was not possible for her because of her "overall young look".

The woman lodged a complaint with the Fair Work Ombudsman.

As part of an enforceable undertaking, Buxton agreed to apologise to the woman, pay her compensation for the six weeks after her dismissal in which she was unable to get another job, and revamp its workplace policies.

It also agreed to develop new recruitment and termination policies, put in place workplace relations training for its directors and alert other Buxton franchisees of its breach.

Fair Work Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson said it was important for employees to treat their employees fairly and be aware of their obligations under workplace laws.

-AAP

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