The Equality Tribunal
EMPLOYMENT EQUALITY ACTS 1998 - 2008
EQUALITY OFFICER’S DECISION DEC-E2009-04
Kestutis Karpis and Zigmunds Karpis
(Represented by P.C. Moore & Co)
MurrayWaste Recycling Limited
(Represented by Ensor O’Connor Solicitors)
File reference: EE/2006/360
Date of issue: 27 January 2009
1.1 This dispute concerns claims by MrKestutis Karpis and Mr Zigmunds Karpis that they were discriminated against by Murray Waste Recycling Ltd on the grounds of race contrary to section 6(2)(h) of the Employment Equality Acts 1998-2008 in relation to conditions of employment and harassment in terms of sections 8(1)(b) and 14A of the Acts.
1.2 The complainants referred their claims to the Director of the Equality Tribunal on 4 October 2006 under the Employment Equality Acts 1998 and 2004. On 26 September 2008, in accordance with her powers under section 75 of the Acts, the Director delegated the case to Hugh Lonsdale, an Equality Officer, for investigation, hearing and decision and for the exercise of other relevant functions of the Director under Part VII of the Acts, on which date my investigation commenced. Submissions were received from both parties. As required by Section 79(1) and as part of my investigation I proceeded to hearing on 20 January 2009.
2. OUTCOME OF HEARING
The complainants’ representative and the respondent’s representative were both notified of the hearing in writing on 12 November 2008. The complainants’ representative appeared at the hearing but the complainants were not present. Their representative confirmed that they had written to the complainants informing them of the hearing. They were advised that the complainants had returned to Latvia and they had then written to them in Latvia. The complainants had not replied to these letters and the representative had no explanation for their non-appearance. I am however satisfied that all reasonable efforts had been made to inform the complainants of the hearing. The respondent was present at the hearing.
I make the following decision in accordance with section 79 of the Acts.
As part of my investigation under section 79 of the Acts, I am obliged to hold a hearing. I find that the complainants’ failure to attend such a hearing was unreasonable in the circumstances and that any obligation under Section 79 has ceased. As no evidence was given at the hearing in support of the allegation of discrimination I conclude the investigation and find against the complainant.
27 January 2009