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Australia's solution to disability discrimination enforcement

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[Excerpt] Until recently, Australian disability discrimination law was similar to that of the United States and much of the rest of the world: it defined disability relatively narrowly, its penalties for noncompliance were relatively paltry, and it depended on enforcement of lawsuits brought by aggrieved private citizens. In 2009, however, Australia adopted the Fair Work Act 2009 (FW Act). The FW Act defined disability much more broadly, increased substantially the penalties for noncompliance, and created a state institution to enforce disability rights. This article analyses the FW Act, compares it to the workplace disability law in the United States, and argues that the FW Act is a transformational development in the struggle to achieve workplace equality and is an approach that should attract significant international interest.

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2011-11-25

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Required Publisher Statement: © Cornell HR Review. This article is reproduced here by special permission from the publisher.

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