Equality Tribunal Award

Case Study

James Watters & Co Solicitors recently secured a substantial Equality Tribunal award for a client in the an employment law and equality law matter.

Our client worked in retail. In or about May 2010 it was alleged that a customer was racially abusive towards her. Our client was so upset by the abuse she reported it to the Gardaí. The Gardaí contacted the person who had allegedly abused our client but she denied it. Our client told the Gardaí she did not wish to pursue the matter further.

The following morning our client was then called into a meeting by her employer (the ‘Respondent’); he seemed annoyed that the matter had been reported to the Gardaí. Following the meeting she was informed that she was being transferred to another location. Our client explained that this was not convenient for her as she had a small child; however she was told that this was not her employer’s concern and her presence in the shop was affecting business.

On the first day in the new location she was told by her manager that a customer had complained about her and that she would be put to do more menial work. Our client decided to leave the job and managed to get alternative employment elsewhere. After two weeks in the new job her new employer asked her if she had been working in the respondents business. She told him that she had. The next day she received a text from her new employer to say there were no hours for her and he would let her go.

Our client engaged James Watters & Co Solicitors to help her resolve her employment law and equality law issues.
The Equality Officer made a finding against the old employer.

The Equality Tribunal found that our client had been discriminated against on the basis of her race, colour, nationality or ethnic or national origins. It was also found that she was the victim of harassment and her treatment following her making the complaint amounted to victimisation.

As a result of making these findings the Equality Officer made the following award:
€14,000 in compensation for the distress caused by the discrimination and constructive dismissal;
€20,000 in compensation for the distress caused by victimisation.

The full decision is available at: http://www.equalitytribunal.ie/en/Cases/2013/December/DEC-E2013-193.html

If you have any employment law or equality law issues call Watters Solicitors at 01-872 4717

About the author: Pádraig Murray