OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF EQUALITY INVESTIGATIONS
Equal Status Act 2000
EQUALITY OFFICER DECISION NO: DEC - S2002-013
Mr J. O'Reilly
( Represented by The Equality Authority)
(Represented by Noel Smyth & Partners, Solicitors)
File Ref: ES/2001/45
Date of Issue: 8th March, 2002 1
Headnotes: Equal Status Act 2000 - direct discrimination - section 3(1)(a) - age ground - section 5(1) - refusal of service in a pub - prima facie evidence - section 15(2), dress code, complainant refused as part of a group.
The complainant is aged 72 years old. He claimed that on 13th January, 2001, he sought to enter Q. Bar with his wife, daughter and son-in-law, but that he was refused entry by the doorman. The complainant claimed that the reason for his refusal was based on his age and that the refusal was contrary to the Equal Status Act, 2000. He claimed that if he had been aged in his twenties or thirties that he would have been admitted to the pub. The other people in his group were also refused admission by the doorman.
The respondent claimed that it does not know for certain that the complainant was actually refused from its premises on the date in question. However, it accepted the complainant's word that he was refused. The reason the respondent has no knowledge of the refusal is because the doorman who was on duty at that time and who would have made the refusal is no longer employed by the security company responsible for carrying out its admission policy. Consequently, the respondent has been unable to obtain the doorman's reasons for the refusal. However, the respondent claimed that the complainant would not have been discriminated against contrary to the Act on the basis of his age. It claimed that it regularly serves people of a broad range of ages and that it does not have a discriminatory policy towards older people. The respondent claimed that the reason for the complainant's refusal would have been related to one or all of the following reasons:
- section 15(2) of the Act,
- Q. Bar's dress code,
- the fact that the complainant was refused as part of a group,
The respondent also claimed that the reason for the complainant's refusal could have been related to his wife, his daughter or his son-in-law.