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What is lawful sexual activity?

Lawful sexual activity means a person’s status as a lawfully employed sex worker.

In Queensland, and most other states, it is unlawful to discriminate against a person because of their lawful sexual activity as a paid sex worker.

The person can work for someone else, or they can be self-employed.

Generally speaking, sex work is lawful if a person:

  • works as a sole operator visiting clients,
  • or works out of their own home, and doesn’t work with or employ any staff, except for licensed security guards,
  • or works in a licensed brothel.

The law

In Queensland, the Anti-Discrimination Act makes it unlawful to be discriminated against on the basis of lawful sexual activity.

For more information on protections offered in other states, you can contact our team of discrimination specialists.

What is discrimination based on lawful sexual activity?

Unlawful discrimination happens when a sex worker is treated less favourably than someone who is not a sex worker.

For example, a real estate agent refuses to offer you a rental property when they find out your occupation.

Or a bank refuses to give you a home loan or a credit card when they find out your occupation, despite having a good financial history.

It can happen at work, school, university or TAFE.

It can also happen when dealing with tradespeople, businesses or state and local governments.

How We Can Help

If you have experienced discrimination on the basis of your lawful sexual activity, our team of employment lawyers and industrial advocates can help.

We can represent you in the Human Rights Commission or any other relevant court or tribunal.

We have a proven track record negotiating significant sums of compensation for those who have experienced unlawful discrimination.

Make no mistake, we will fight for you until we achieve the outcome that you are looking for. 


If you are dismissed from employment because of lawful sexual activity, you only have 21 days from the date of dismissal to file a claim, so don’t delay!

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LAST UPDATED: March 2022

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