Decision DEC - E2010-124
(Represented by Kevin Tunney Solicitors)
Core Personnel Services Limited
(represented by Sherwin O'Riordan Solicitors)
Employment Equality Acts 1998-2008), Section 6(1) - less favourable treatment, Section 6(2)(h) - Race, Section 8(a)-access to employment - failure to attend hearing
1.1 This dispute concerns a claim by a complainant that he was discriminated against by the above named respondent on the race ground, in terms of Sections 6(1) and 6(2) (h) of the Employment Equality Acts 1998-2008 and contrary to section 8 in relation to access to employment.
2.1 The complainant referred a complaint under the Employment Equality Acts to the Equality Tribunal on the 24th January 2007 alleging that the respondent discriminated against him contrary to the Acts. In accordance with her powers under section 75 of the Employment Equality Acts, 1998-2008 the Director delegated the case on 20th October, 2009 to me, Marian Duffy, an Equality Officer, for investigation, hearing and decision and for the exercise of other relevant functions of the Director under Part VII of those Acts This is the date I commenced my investigation. Written submissions were received from the complainant on the 4th September 2008 and from the respondent on the 2nd December 2008 . As required by section 79(1) of the Acts and as part of my investigation, I proceeded to hearing on the 6th July, 2010.
2.3 On the 10th of February 2010 a notification, that a hearing of the complaint would take place on the 5th of July 2010, was sent by registered post to both parties. The respondent and witnesses together with their legal representative attended but the complainant did not attend. I contacted the complainant's solicitor and he said that he was not aware that the hearing was scheduled for the 5th of July. He also said that the complainant had not been notified of the hearing and that he would not be attending. In a follow up letter to the Tribunal, the solicitor stated that the notification of the hearing was received in the office but due to an administrative oversight it was not brought to his attention. He requested an adjournment in the circumstances.
The respondent's representative requested that an adjournment should not be granted. They submitted that the complainant had already been granted adjournments.
3. Conclusions of the Equality Officer
3.1 I am satisfied from the correspondence that the complainant's solicitor was properly notified that a hearing in the case was scheduled to take place on the 6th of July 2010. In refusing the complainant's solicitors application for an adjournment, I had regard to the fact that this case was already adjourned on two occasions at the request of the complainant. I also took into account that the hearing was specifically arranged to coincide with the complainant's holidays in July because he is living and working in Poland. For these reasons, I find the complainant's failure to attend the hearing was unreasonable in the circumstances.
In the light of the foregoing, and in accordance with Section 79(6) of the Act, I issue the following decision:
As part of my investigation under Section 79 of the Act, I am obliged to hold a Hearing. I find that the complainant's 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.
8th July 2010