Employment Equality Acts
EQUALITY OFFICER'S DECISION
(Represented by Eugene Carey and Co. Solicitors)
- V -
Co. Cork Vocational Education Committee
(Represented by Mr. John Lucey BL on the instructions of Michael Powell Solicitors)
File reference: EE/2008/373
Date of issue: 13 July 2010
Employment Equality Acts - Victimisation - Prima facie case
1.1. This dispute concerns a claim by Ms. Ann Hurley (hereafter "the complainant") that she was subjected to victimisation contrary to the Employment Equality Acts by Country Cork Vocational Education Committee (hereafter "the respondent"). The complainant submitted that subsequent to her entering a confidential mediated agreement in this Tribunal the respondent adversely treated her in relation to her access to employment. It was submitted that this adverse treatment is on-going.
1.2. The complainant referred her claim of victimisation to the Director of the Equality Tribunal on 11 June 2008 under the Employment Equality Acts. The initial complaint had been made on the age ground. In accordance with her powers under section 75 of the Acts, the Director then delegated this case to Tara Coogan- an Equality Officer - on 28 August 2009 for investigation, hearing and decision and for the exercise of other relevant functions of the Director under Part VII of the Acts. Accordingly, on this date, my investigation commenced. As required by Section 79(1) and as part of my investigation, I proceeded to hearing on 15 January and 23 April 2010.
2. Case for the complainant
2.1. The complainant submitted that she had always held a dream to be a teacher. In early 2003 she fulfilled her ambition and qualified as a teacher. Initially the complainant worked as a resource teacher with the respondent and was well received. However, due to matters not relevant to this investigation, she made a complaint under the Employment Equality Acts. The complainant submitted that ever since she entered into the mediated agreement with the respondent she has been victimised by it in her attempts to obtain suitable employment. Since then the schools that she provided substitution for have stopped calling and a number of unnamed individuals associated with the respondent's schools and colleges have been looking at her, following her and making her feel uncomfortable.
2.2. The complainant submitted that she responded to an advertisement for a substitute teacher in the respondent's named college in early 2007. The position was available immediately and the complainant commenced her employment the next day. It was stated that the school was initially very welcoming but that attitudes towards her changed very rapidly in the course of her first day. This was because the complainant says she was recognised by the wife of a named Principal. The wife is an employee in the school. The Principal had been involved in the mediated agreement. It was also submitted that the Principal had close links with this college. The complainant submitted that she was told that she would be replacing a teacher until she went on her maternity leave.
2.3. The complainant submitted that the adverse treatment included her being told not to attend to her duties in the resource department, not being given access to the teacher she was replacing or to the required texts and other bizarre behaviour towards the complainant. She submitted that all of a sudden the staff would tell her that they were hoping the teacher would recover and that at the end of the week she was informed that she would not be needed after the holidays. The complainant submitted that this was an unlawful termination of her employment and an act of victimisation.
2.4. In June 2007 the complainant applied for a position with a school completion programme. The complainant submitted that on application to the position, a named co-ordinator had been very enthusiastic about the complainant's qualifications but that after she was interviewed by named agents of the respondent, she was told she had been unsuccessful. The complainant maintains that she has very impressive qualifications for the position and finds the outcome very surprising. Furthermore, the complainant claims that during the interview she had been informed that some part-time positions would also be available and that, subsequent to the interview, when she enquired about same, she was rebuffed and told no such positions existed. The complainant submitted that this was an act of victimisation.
2.5. In July 2007 the complainant replied to an advertisement of a post for maternity cover in the same college where she had briefly replaced a teacher in March 2007. The complainant stated that - in her opinion - very unusually she was called for a preliminary interview. During the interview questions that did not seem relevant to the position were asked and the complainant was not called for the main interview stage. The complainant submitted that same persons involved in the incident in March 2007 interviewed her and that this was a further act of victimisation.
2.6. In August 2007 the complainant applied for yet another position with the respondent. As she had not received even an acknowledgement from the respondent, she contacted them to enquire about the interviews and was told that they would take place in the next couple of days. When she complained of having not been called for an interview she was subsequently called back with a date and time for an interview. The complainant was again unsuccessful in the competition. The complainant submitted that this was another act of victimisation.
2.7. In late August 2007 the complainant noticed an advertisement for a position in another school. The complainant submitted that it was unusual for the post to be linked with subjects such as economics as she knew that economics were not taught in the school. The complainant requested an application form from the respondent but none was forthcoming. When she complained about this an extension was granted. The complainant submitted that the school actually required a resource teacher, not an economics teacher. As she had been unsuccessful in getting the form sent to her family home she requested the form to be sent to her sister-in-law's house. The complainant then submitted her application in person. She was accompanied by her witness. They spoke with a named Vice-Principal. The complainant asked him certain questions about the position. During this conversation the Vice-Principal told her that certain stories were circulating about her and that it was because of her that the previous principal was no longer in his position. The complainant went to the current Principal's office where she submitted that the principal shouted at her and refused to take her application. When the complainant asked her to put her reasons for refusing the application in writing, the principal stated: "knowing you, you will make a complaint". The complainant made a complaint to the respondent CEO but received no response.
2.8. In late September 2007 the complainant noticed another advertisement for a teaching position with the respondent. She applied for the position and was called for an interview. However, due to a dearth of information about the position and another reported incidents which occurred in connection with the application, the complainant became dismayed and did not attend the interview.
2.9. In January 2008 the complainant applied for another position with the respondent. Despite her excellent qualifications, she was again unsuccessful.
2.10. In May 2008 the complainant came across application forms for teaching posts in a college on the respondent's website. When she enquired about the posts, she received no information and the forms were removed form the site.
2.11. In July 2008 the complainant came across an advertisement for special needs assistants. She was informed that no resource teaching positions were available. She then applied for an assistant position. The complainant submitted that the interview was extremely hostile and the principal who shouted at the complainant in August 2007 was a member of the interview board and would not absent herself from the interview. The complainant believes that she was asked inappropriate and unfair questions. It was submitted that a number of persons have been given resource posts in the college without such positions being advertised.
2.12. Incidents in 2009. The complainant made a formal complaint about another non-national teacher. Her complaint was based on the fact that to her knowledge the teacher was not qualified and not entitled to work in Ireland. The complainant submitted that the position that the non-national teacher was given ought to have been advertised. She felt it was her duty to alert the respondent's board to this matter. She went over to the school with her witness and handed over a letter setting out her complaint. Sometime later, as she had not received any response to her complaint, the complainant and her witness approached the Principal again. It was submitted that the Principal became aggressive and was rude to the complainant and her witness. During this incident the Principal told the complainant he was not surprised that she had a 'reputation' for being a troublemaker.
3. Case for the respondent
3.1. The respondent denies any breach of confidentiality in relation to the mediated agreement and any allegation of victimisation.
3.2. The respondent submits as a preliminary issue that the complainant's claim is statute barred from March 2007 to September 2007. Furthermore, the respondent submitted that the claims subsequent to the incident in January 2008 are not admissible as they were not included in the EE1 form.
3.3. In relation to the complaint pertaining to March 2007. The respondent submitted that there was no bizarre behaviour and that the job was offered as a substitute position for a teacher who was out on sick leave. The complainant was not allowed access to the teacher she was substituting for because the teacher was out sick. It was submitted that the complainant ought to have had her own texts and that she was offered employment for a period of four days, between 27 and 30 March 2007. In relation to the resource teaching, it was submitted that temporary teachers would not normally be asked to provide cover. The complainant was not dismissed, the teacher who she was substituting for returned from her sick leave. Witnesses for the respondent vehemently denied that the complainant would have been told that the position was long-term.
3.4. In relation to June 2007. The respondent submitted that the position applied for had nothing to do with the respondent while it acknowledges that its agents sat on the interview board. The complainant simply was not successful at interview.
3.5. In relation to July 2007. The complainant was called for an interview. It was submitted that she came seventh in the competition and was therefore not appointed to the position. The respondent rejects any allegation that the interview was conducted unfairly or in an inappropriate manner. Only five candidates were called for the main interview.
3.6. In relation to August 2007. The respondent submitted that the post was a resource teaching post for adults with literacy problems. The complainant had no such experience. The complainant was offered a time and date for an interview and the only explanation the respondent can give in relation to the missing application letter is that it may have been placed in a mailbox that is not often used.
3.7. In relation to 20 August 2007. The respondent submitted that a person using another name (now known to be that of the complainant's sister-in-law) applied for the position. A person using this name was granted a brief extension of time to deliver her application form outside the deadline (because there had been an allegation that there had been delay in this person receiving the application form). However, the complainant arrived with her daughter and insisted that she had been purporting to be her sister-in-law. The complainant spoke with the Vice-Principal and requested that he make alterations to the application form. The complainant then requested that the Vice-Principal accept her application form. As the extension of time had been given to a person other than the complainant the respondent refused to accept the application form. The respondent denies that any comments about the complainant's past conduct or the previous Principal were made. It was submitted that the complainant and her daughter became abusive and initially refused to leave. The school intended to include economics in its curriculum.
3.8. In relation to September 2007. The complainant was invited but did not attend the interview. Because she did not attend the interview she could not be considered for the post. It was submitted that information was available to her about the position. The job description was that of a teacher in English and History.
3.9. In relation to January 2008. The complainant applied for a specialist job where experience was sought. The complainant scored highly in the marking for qualifications but did not make the shortlist for final interview. It was submitted that correspondence was sent out to the complainant's referees who did not respond.
3.10. In relation to May 2008. The complainant accessed the website while it was being tested for application forms to be available online for future posts. The forms were available for a couple of hours only. It was submitted the no such position was actually available at the time.
3.11. In relation to July 2008. The complainant was interviewed in accordance with Departmental guidelines and same questions were put to all candidates. A Departmental Inspector sat on the interview board. The complainant came sixth out of thirteen candidates.
3.12. The incidents in 2009. The Principal at the centre of this allegation gave evidence. He admitted that he became agitated when the complainant made such allegations about a member of his staff. He submitted that the complainant and her witness, in his view, were behaving unreasonably. He was uncomfortable discussing a staff member's private matters and did not feel the conversation was appropriate. He submitted that the complainant and her witness arrived unannounced and were very argumentative. He said that they would refuse to leave his office. The Principal acknowledged that he may have discussed some of the complainant's difficulties with her in the distant past, when he spoke with her informally wearing his union hat at the time. However, the fact was that the teacher and the position that the complainant was complaining about was sanctioned by the then Department of Education and Science late the previous academic year and he had to fill the post quickly in order to hold on to the funding. The teacher appointed to the post was already working in the college, qualified and suitable for the job. There was no need to advertise the post as an internal candidate was available. The witness denied that this was done to exclude the complainant or that there was anything unusual about such an appointment.
3.13. The respondent rejects any allegation that there was a campaign of victimisation in relation to the above incidents. The respondent submitted that the complaint is bad in law and is misconceived. There is no legal basis set out for the complaint. The lack of primary facts does not give any foundation for any factual findings or even imputation of such.
3.14. The respondent submitted Mary Davis v Dublin Institute of Technology & Anor (Unreported, High Court 23 June 2000) and Madarassy v Namoura (2007 IRLR 246) as authorities in the matter of the mere fact of a difference in status and difference in treatment in the sense that one person was appointed to a post and not another is not itself sufficient to shift the probative burden.
3.15. The respondent submitted that there is no evidence of any adverse treatment. The complainant was simply unsuccessful in her endeavour to obtain a post. It was submitted that the complaint ought to be dismissed under section 77A for being frivolous, vexatious or misconceived.
6. Conclusion of the equality officer
6.1. It is clear that the parties entered into a mediated agreement in this Tribunal in 2006. Victimisation, under these Acts, shall be construed as 'adverse treatment' of an employee as a result of victimisation occurs where dismissal or other adverse treatment of an employee by his or her employer occurs as a reaction to --
(a) a complaint of discrimination made by the employee to the
(b) any proceedings by a complainant,
(c) an employee having represented or otherwise supported a
(d) the work of an employee having been compared with that
of another employee for any of the purposes of this Act
or any enactment repealed by this Act,
(e) an employee having been a witness in any proceedings under
this Act or the Equal Status Act 2000 or any such repealed
(f) an employee having opposed by lawful means an act which
is unlawful under this Act or the said Act of 2000 or
which was unlawful under such repealed enactment, or
(g) an employee having given notice of an intention to take any
of the actions mentioned in the preceding paragraphs.
Therefore, I find that the complainant has taken action which protects her from victimisation. The matter that this Tribunal must consider is whether:
1) the complainant has been subjected to adverse treatment;
2) the adverse treatment is because of the fact that the complainant has taken action in accordance with section 74(2).
6.2. The respondent submitted that the complainant's claim was limited to a period of six months from the date of which the complaint was lodged (no extension of time request has been made to the Director). The complainant submitted that in accordance with section 77(5) the claim constituted a chain of discrimination thus allowing the complaint to be fully heard by the Tribunal. Section 77(5)(a) states that a "claim for redress in respect of discrimination or victimisation may not be referred under this section after the end of the period of 6 months from the date of occurrence of the discrimination or victimisation to which the case relates or, as the case may be, the date of its most recent occurrence". In interpreting section 77(5)(a) using everyday language it is clear that a claim can be extended in circumstances where the complainant refers a complaint which has been lodged within the required six months of the latest incident and the complainant can show facts supporting a on-going situation of such occurrence. Section 77(6)(a) goes on to provide: "Discrimination or victimisation occurs-(i) if the act constituting it extends over a period, at the end of a period." This provision envisages a case of continuing discrimination with the time limit referable to the point at which the discrimination or victimisation ended. It is clear that no claim which is outside the six month time limit is automatically statute barred.
6.3. I note that the complainant's claim received on 11 June 2008 referred to access to employment. Yet, in her written submission received on 16 January 2009 the complainant submitted that in relation to the first instance cited in her submission she was victimisatorily dismissed. In addition, the complainant added incidents to her written submission at the hearing. This incident allegedly took place after her written submission was lodged with this Tribunal. I note that the respondent also argues that the manner in which the complainant has been made ought to make it statute barred. This is due to the submitted lack of detail in the EE1 form and the written submission. The complainant rejects this notion and argues that the complainant clearly sets out acts of victimisation.
6.4. Having taken due regard to the authority set out by McGovern J in County Louth Vocational Educational Committee v. Equality Tribunal [2009 No. 223 J.R.] I am satisfied that provided that the respondent was on adequate notice of the complainant's claim the Tribunal has permission to amend a claim provided that the general nature of the claim remains the same. The claim throughout is that of victimisation. As part of an alleged chain I have also heard the facts pertaining to the incidents that took place in early 2009. EE1 is not a statutory form and referring to the above authority I am satisfied that provided that parties are afforded appropriate notice and the procedures adopted by the equality officer are fair and reasonable and in compliance with the principle of natural and constitutional justice the investigation can proceed. I am satisfied that both parties were provided with ample opportunity to present their case to this Tribunal.
6.5. In evaluating the evidence before me, I must first consider whether the complainant has established a prima facie case pursuant to Section 85A of the Employment Equality Acts 1998 to 2008. The Labour Court has held consistently that the facts from which the occurrence of discrimination may be inferred must be of 'sufficient significance' (Mitchell v Southern Health Board  ELR 201) before a prima facie case is established and the burden of proof shifts to the respondent. Mere speculation or assertions, unsupported by evidence, cannot be elevated to a factual basis upon which an inference of discrimination can be drawn. The Labour Court elaborated on the interpretation of section 85A in Melbury v. Valpeters (EDA/0917) where it stated that section 85A: "places the burden of establishing the primary facts fairly and squarely on the Complainant and the language of this provision admits of no exceptions to that evidential rule".
6.6. I note that the complainant requested that the decision be anonymised to protect her identity. The respondent made it clear that it opposed any such application and submitted that the complainant's details have been revealed in another, unrelated action. The complainant submitted that, inter alia, due to the fact that her complaint rises from alleged victimisation as a result of confidential mediated agreement, the Tribunal has an onus to protect the confidentiality of the mediation process. Arguments for privacy and potential further victimisation were also made. Having considered the facts of this case and the above circumstances I find that I have no legitimate reason in circumstances were parties do not agree on the matter, to protect the identity of the parties. Any enforcement of a mediated agreement will require the identities to be revealed and while this case did not concern itself with the actual mediated agreement, the case stems from alleged adverse treatment as a result of it. The Tribunal usually protects the identities of persons who are minors and persons whose case rests on revealing intimate information about their health status. The present case is therefore not exempt.
6.7. In relation to the incident in March 2007. The complainant presented no evidence that the teacher who she was providing cover for did not return from her sick leave. Indeed the evidence from the respondent indicated that she did return, albeit for a brief period. The school submitted that during the Easter break the Principal had devised a strategy that allowed the school to use existing teachers to cover the remaining period of the teacher's sick leave (should it be required) and therefore that the substitute teacher was no longer required. The complainant was unable to show any evidence to support an argument that the school used any other external teacher to replace the teacher who was out on sick leave. Furthermore, the school submitted that it would never have told the complainant that the position would be a long term one. The complainant was unable to show any evidence that such an offer had been made. Therefore, there is no evidence to indicate a dismissal.
6.8. The incidents of bizarre behaviour referred to by the complainant appear to be linked with the fact that the respondent appeared to be anxious to get her own teacher back (from sick leave), the school secretary's refusal to sign a form (the complainant cited a couple of incidents of this nature, some of them later in the year), the fact that the complainant caught the Vice-Principal talking on the phone and the fact that when the complainant returned to the school after the Easter holidays to pick up a diary she believed she had left behind she and her witness were stopped in the corridor by the respondent staff. There is nothing here that is clearly 'adverse treatment' using everyday language to interpret the statute. While I appreciate that the return of the permanent teacher meant that the complainant would be out of work, I find nothing adverse in the fact that a manager would wish the return of her permanent staff. I understand that there was confusion about some matter relating to a social welfare form and later in the year about some irregularities concerning a payslip, and that these matters escalated into a less than polite exchange between the school's administrative staff, the complainant and her daughter. While the complainant and her witness submitted that they were polite in making their enquiries, the evidence of the Principal very strongly contradicted this. I find, based on my experience of the conduct of the complainant and her witness at the hearing, that the pair can be quite relentless when pursuing an issue. Yet again, there is no evidence of adverse treatment. It is clear that the parties got into a dispute about whose responsibility the forms were, etc, but there is no evidence to link this with any external matter. That is, there is nothing to suggest that the exchange became heated for any other reason than the situation itself. I cannot comment on a person talking on the phone or the fact that the complainant felt that the conversation was about her. Such statements have no evidential value. I relation to the matter that the complainant and her witness were stopped in the corridor by the Vice-Principal and Principal I find it perfectly normal that the school would check with unannounced visitors. I note that the witness and the complainant described the incident in quite dramatic terms and that they clearly felt that the behaviour of the respondent staff was odd. Yet again there is no evidence to link what transpired with any external factor.
6.9. In relation to July 2008. No evidence was presented to suggest that there was significant difference between the complainant and the successful candidate. Evidence of some primary finding of fact or a significant difference in qualifications, as set out in Davis v Dublin Institute of Technology, linked with the adverse treatment must be shown by the complainant for the evidential burden to shift and it is simply not enough to show that the complainant was unsuccessful. Furthermore, the complainant presented no evidence to support an argument that part-time positions existed in relation to the school completion programme or that such positions were given to persons less qualified than her. While I note the respondent submitted that this programme had nothing to do with it, it is clear that servants of the respondent were included on the interview board. In the circumstances, I do not need to consider the matter any further.
6.10. In relation to June 2007. The complainant submitted in her direct evidence that she met another person who was also attending a preliminary interview. Therefore, it is clear that the respondent held preliminary interviews for other candidates in relation to this post. No evidence of adverse treatment was presented and no examples of inappropriate questions was presented. No evidence was presented to support an argument that the Principal would normally not attend such interviews. I have been presented with no facts that would suggest that the Principal, in the interest of fair procedures, ought to have excused herself from the interview process. While I note that the complainant believes that she was victimisatorily dismissed by the Principal in 2007, there is no evidence to support such a belief or that the Principal knew that the complainant believed she was unlawfully dismissed.
6.11. In relation to August 2007. No evidence was presented to support an argument that the successful candidate was significantly less qualified or experienced. The complainant was called for the interview and the fact that her application form had gone missing is not disputed. However, due to the complainant's own vigilance, she contacted the respondent and was offered an interview. There is no evidence of adverse treatment.
6.12. In relation to the incident in late August 2007. The salient facts appear to be as follows: the complainant, who submitted that she did not trust the respondent, used her sister-in-law's name and address to obtain an application form. As she was unable to make the deadline, she contacted the school and asked for a brief extension on the deadline due to the fact that there had been a delay in her getting the application form. I accept that an extension was granted, however, to the person using the complainant's sister-in-law's name. On submitting the form the complainant and her witness met with the Vice-Principal who was known to the complainant. The complainant had spotted a number of errors on the form and she wanted the Vice-Principal to correct them. She also asked him to give her a note in writing stating that the application form had been accepted despite its lateness. The Vice-Principal submitted that at this stage he became alarmed as he was aware that the extension had been granted to (as he understood) a person using another name. The complainant wrote the following on the form:
"Form requested on 22-8-07 but not sent out from school until after closing date. This application for the resource position not including economics as described by [name of person] on 28-8-07 is being submitted under an extension to the closing date granted by [name of person] due to the fact that although form was requested before closing date it was not sent out until after closing date".
The Vice-Principal took the complainant and her witness to talk with the Principal. While the parties disagree with the particulars of what occurred next, it is clear that the Principal refused to accept the form as it was outside the deadline and the extension had been granted to a person with a different name. I find that such refusal, outside the deadline for such applications, is not adverse treatment unless the complainant can show that other forms were accepted outside the deadline. While I note that both parties accuse one another of being rude and argumentative, it is clear that the manner in which the complainant approached the respondent was underhanded and that it is normal for a person to react in a suspicious way when so approached. I also note that the complainant is asking the person signing the form to alter the actual description of the post by adding "not including economics". The complainant was not thus behaving like any other candidate.
6.13. In relation to late September 2007. There was no incident. The complainant did not attend an interview so she naturally could not be considered for the position. The complainant submitted that she could not get a job description but provided no evidence of such a description or that another person received a job description.
6.14. In relation to January 2008. No evidence was presented to support an argument that the successful candidate was significantly less qualified or experienced than the complainant.
6.15. In relation to May 2008. The respondent submitted that the reason why the forms were on-line for a brief period was due to the webpage being tested. No evidence to the contrary has been presented. No evidence has been presented to support an argument that such positions were clandestinely filled. I do not accept the complainant's argument that it is impossible to find out who is employed in public places such as schools.
6.16. In relation to July 2008. No evidence was presented to support an argument that the successful candidate was significantly less qualified or experienced. The post was for a special needs assistant. The complainant took exception that she was asked questions about independent educational plans as she believed this was done so that the complainant would 'forget herself' and claimed that special needs assistants would not be involved in such documents. The complainant also made a number of statements suggesting that she 'knew' that persons were routinely appointed to resource teacher positions without such positions being advertised. The complainant's 'knowledge' could, at best, be described as hearsay and this Tribunal has afforded such statements the evidential value they deserve.
6.17. In relation to early 2009. These incidents involving the complainant making 'formal' complainants about the appointment of a non-national whose right to work and qualifications the complainant was questioning are quite frankly disturbing. While I appreciate that the complainant has become rather entangled in her dispute with the respondent I cannot accept the bona fides of a complainant who makes serious allegations about another (non-national) teacher who she perceives to be in a position that the complainant thinks ought to be hers. The conduct of the complainant in relation to this incident has been reprehensible and I wish to make no further comment on it. While the Acts recognise the right of a person to lawfully oppose discrimination, it ought to be clear that the conduct which the complainant engaged in was not lawful and that she was not opposing discrimination. Her actions were simply wrong and it is hardly surprising if the Principal became agitated with the complainant and her witness who were making serious allegations about his staff. In such circumstances, where the actions of the complainant herself have tainted the facts to such a degree that it is impossible to identify whether there was any evidence of any knowledge of the first complaint or that the respondent's actions were influenced by such knowledge, I find that the incident was not an act of adverse treatment by the respondent.
6.18. In conclusion, it is clear that the complainant firmly believes that she has been and continues to be victimised by the respondent. I suspect there is little I can say to dissuade her from this belief. It is clear that the complainant believes that the respondent has instituted a campaign to exclude and punish her and that this is because she has made a complaint under these Acts. It is clear that the complainant had held such a belief for some time and that her dealings with the respondent have been tainted by this belief. I note that the complainant even submitted that she always had a witness with her when dealing with the respondent and that she believed that a post would be advertised in such a manner as to exclude her specific qualifications. These are her beliefs. Nevertheless, the complainant has not shown a scintilla of evidence to support an argument that there was widespread knowledge of the fact that the complainant had made a complaint under these Acts. The Tribunal heard a number of witnesses currently or previously employed by the respondent who all denied that they had any knowledge that the complainant had ever made a claim. The retired Principal involved in the mediated agreement denied that he had breached the confidentiality clause. The complainant was only able to refer to a gut feeling and the incident cited in paragraph 6.17. As stated above, that incident cannot be linked with this claim due to the complainant's own conduct. Furthermore, the complainant has not shown any significant facts from which an argument that the complainant has experienced any adverse treatment can be drawn.
7.1. Having investigated the above complaint, I hereby make the following decision in accordance with section 79(6) of the Employment Equality Acts:
7.2. I find that the complainant has not established a prima facie case of victimisation. Therefore, the case fails.
13 July 2010