Australian Lawyer’s Sex in the City Gender Discrimination Lawsuit Dismissed

sex discrimination case by an Australian lawyer

“I have found both [my interviewers] very attractive and beautiful,” Says Gender Discrimination Lawyer

A solicitor’s lawsuit against a boutique law firm in Sydney has been dismissed after he claimed gender discrimination and sought $5,000 in compensation for “injury to feelings.”

The case brought by lawyer Dawn Anters against D G Thompson (DGT) has been rejected by the court. Anters alleged that the firm refused to hire him based on his gender and marital status. Among the interviewers were DGT principals Tara Ryan (pictured) and Kerrie Rosati.

Dawn Anters claimed the ‘humiliation’ caused by the offence was exacerbated by the fact the women interviewing him were ‘very attractive and beautiful’.

The solicitor filed a complaint with the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board, demanding compensation of $5,000, an apology letter for “humiliation,” “insult,” and “injury to feelings,” as well as a handwritten statement from his two female interviewers at the firm saying, “I like MEN,” which he requested to be sent to him ten times.

In his complaint, Anters claimed that the firm’s decision not to offer him employment was based on his sex and marital status, which he believed violated the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977. He felt the rejection was particularly harsh because he found the interviewers “very attractive and beautiful.”

However, senior member Larissa Andelman and general member Dr. Maree Murray from the administrative and equal opportunity division of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal disagreed with Mr. Anters’ claims and dismissed the case.

Anters, who is based in South Australia, applied to the boutique firm in February 2022 and expressed his willingness to relocate to Sydney if he was successful.

Anders also took action against another law firm in 2021 on similar grounds, being against Oakbridge Lawyers. On that occasion he claimed racial discrimination.

In March last year, he had a Zoom interview for a position with DGT, along with two other candidates, both of whom were female and were offered jobs at the firm. In March, Anters received a rejection from the firm, which stated that although they had received numerous applications from highly qualified candidates, including Anters, they were unable to offer him a position.

In July 2022, Anters sent a letter to the firm, alleging that he had been discriminated against because he was a man, citing the questions asked during the interview and the fact that all the solicitors listed on DGT’s website were female.

According to the judgment, Anters believed that DGT may have assumed he was female due to the name “Dawn” being atypical for a male.

“The judgment stated, “Mr. Anters believed that he was only invited for the interview because it was assumed he was female, and he was unhappy about the way two female interviewers treated him during the interview.”

In his subsequent complaint to the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board, Anters expressed feeling “offended, embarrassed, and humiliated” after failing to secure a position with the firm.

Furthermore, he stated, “I have found both [my interviewers] very attractive and beautiful. Therefore, the magnitude of the offense and humiliation caused by the discrimination of someone to whom I am attracted to is far severe. Further, if I were not subject to discrimination, I would have been employed and started to work in April 2021. Thus, it also resulted in financial loss to me.”

The solicitor also claimed that he was asked questions about relocating with his family and his comfort level working with females. Anters felt that the manner and tone in which these questions were asked amounted to sex discrimination.

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