A Sydney barber is currently awaiting trial by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) after refusing to cut a young girl's hair. The girl's mother claims that the barber breached anti-discrimination laws by refusing her service. Is it legal for a business to refuse services based on sex?
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Dear Lifehacker, I played paintball for the first time over the weekend and I am addicted. I'm considering getting into it a little more professionally but I've heard a paintball marker is considered a firearm and I don't want to buy something if it can get me in some hot water. Do I need a licence?
A McDonald's customer in Sydney has been questioned by police after failing to return the wrong takeaway order. The customer decided to eat the incorrect order - which exceeded his purchase by approximately $17 - to save himself a trip back to the store. This resulted in police arriving at his house to accuse him of stealing. (Yes, really.) So is it legal to keep takeaway food you receive by accident?
The only thing that makes long-distance driving tolerable is music and/or podcasts. Unfortunately, using the car stereo isn't always an option. Perhaps the speakers are busted, or the person in the passenger seat hates your taste in music. In these situations, the obvious solution is to don a pair headphones. But is this actually legal?
If you've ever played amateur sports, you know how frustrating it can be to lose a big game due to the bumbling ineptitude of an umpire or referee. Most people understand that bad calls are part of the game and manage to keep their temper under control. But some players morph into Hulked-out John McEnroes, complete with swearing, yelling, name calling and shoving. Is this legal?
Each Boxing Day, countless Australians take part in the annual tradition of returning unwanted gifts for an exchange or refund. Usually, the retailer accepts the proffered item with no questions asked. But what if they refuse? Are merchants legally obligated to provide a remedy under Australian consumer law or are they allowed to send you packing?
For the past two weeks, Australian politics have been dominated by the explosive revelation that Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce engaged in an extramarital affair with a staffer who is now expecting his child. The particulars of the relationship have been roundly criticised by both sides of politics, with several ministers and former politicians calling for Joyce's sacking.
In direct response to the affair, Malcolm Turnbull has banned sexual relations between ministers and staff in a bid to bring the ministerial code of conduct in line with "attitudes in the corporate world." This may have some people wondering: is it ever illegal to have sex with an underling in a corporate setting?
Virtual private networks (VPNs) have many legitimate purposes. They're also used to cheekily circumvent geo-blocks on overseas sites like US Netflix - often against the express wishes of rights holders. Like most online technologies, government legislation is currently a bit vague on what is and isn't allowed. So is it legal to stream restricted content through a VPN? Let's find out.
When in doubt about who the father of a baby is, just do a paternity test. That seems like a no-brainer, especially since DNA testing has come a long way so it can provide quicker and more accurate results. But what if a man doesn't want to find out if he's the father? Is it legal to refuse a paternity test? Let's find out.
Picture the scene: you've organised a week off work for some much-needed R&R. On the first day of your holiday, you're struck down with the flu. Instead of sunning it up on the beach, you spend the entire week coughing up phlegm in bed.
If you'd been at work, you definitely would have called in sick on these days - so why should annual leave be any different? Let's take a look at the legalities.
Is It Legal? is a regular Lifehacker column where we attempt to answer legal questions that are contentious or misunderstood. Here are the most popular "Is It Legal?" posts of 2017 - from driving a vehicle without shoes on to owning a pet dingo!
The Black Friday / Cyber Monday weekend is one of the busiest sales periods of the year. Unfortunately, unscrupulous merchants have been known to jack up their "previously sold for" pricing to make it look like you're getting a better deal. Is this legal?
By most accounts, the National Broadband Network (NBN) is a bit of a dog's breakfast. The project has been variously described as slow, expensive, unreliable, poorly implemented, unfair, needlessly restrictive and obsolete - and those are just the criticisms we can print.
NBN complaints are up 160 per cent and a third of Australians simply don't care about the technology at all. Despite this, connecting to the NBN is compulsory, with existing telephone and internet connections switched off to make way for the rollout. Is this legal?
Last week, a teenager working in Canberra was fired from her job for posting that she will vote "No" in the same-sex marriage survey. In explaining her actions, the employer argued that the post was "hate speech" that could damage the reputation of her business. Others claim this is a clear-cut case of unfair dismissal. Let's take a look at what the law reckons.
While there is a lot of hype around the launch of Apple’s new all-glass iPhone X, the attention of consumer lawyers is probably focused in a different direction. In April, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) alleged that Apple had contravened consumer law by wrongly representing to customers they were not entitled to have a phone defect remedied if their device had previously been fixed by an “unauthorised” repairer.
The action was brought after reports that some consumers who had had their screen repaired by a third party suffered an “error 53”, which disabled their iPhone or iPad, after downloading an iOS update. Given that the new iPhone launched on Tuesday in the US, it’s timely to think about the rights available to Apple fans under Australian law if they suffer that most common of breakages – the shattered screen.
There are two reasons you might find to sleep in your car. One: ROAD TRIP! Two: You've had a bigger night than you expected and now you can't drive home. Cabs are expensive. You're not a fan of Uber. It's too late to catch any form of public transport. You could walk, you think, but a four hour walk in the dark isn't a great plan. So you decide that you need to have a little kip in your automobile and you lay down across the back seat and start to snooze.
But is it actually legal to punch some Z's in your vehicle? Let's find out.