12. If my colleagues openly tease a mentally handicapped colleague about his/her mental handicap and he/she is unhappy about it, is this discrimination?
Your colleagues' behaviour may amount to discrimination or harassment under the DDO, if they behave that way because of your mentally handicapped colleague's disability. If they publicly incite hatred towards, serious contempt for, or severe ridicule of, a person with a disability, this may amount to vilification.
Under the DDO, your employer has a responsibility to provide a workplace that is free from discrimination, harassment and vilification. This means that your employer may also be held responsible for your colleagues' behaviour, even though your employer may not approve or know of it. However, your employer may be exempt from this liability if the company has already implemented a policy to handle discrimination, harassment and vilification relating to disability (e.g. complaint handling measures). For more information on such a policy, please refer to clauses 17-19 of the Code of Practice on Employment, which is issued by the Equal Opportunities Commission.