EQUALITY OFFICER'S DECISION
(Represented by Richard Grogan and Associates)
- V -
Bridford Properties Ltd
(Represented by Ms Mary Gordon BL on the instructions of Noel Smyth and Partners Solicitors)
File references: EE/2007/430
Date of issue: 01/ June 2010
Employment equality Acts 1998-2008 - Discriminatory Treatment - Harassment- Race - Condition of employment - Prima facie case
1.1. This dispute concerns a claim by Mr. Eligijus Benesiunas (hereafter "the complainant") that he was subjected to discriminatory treatment and harassment contrary to the Employment Equality Acts by Bridford Properties Ltd. (hereafter "the respondent") on the grounds of his race. The complainant maintains that the respondent discriminated against him in relation to his conditions of work and that another employee used foul language against him.
1.2. The complainant referred his claim of discrimination to the Director of the Equality Tribunal on 27 August 2007 under the Employment Equality Acts. This claim was made on the race ground. On 30 November 2009, in accordance with her powers under section 75 of the Acts, the Director then delegated these cases to Tara Coogan- 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. As required by Section 79(1) and as part of my investigation, I proceeded to hearing on 31 May 2010. Both parties were advised of the date of the hearing by registered post on 12 March 2010. The complainant's solicitor contacted the Tribunal on 14 May 2010 to inform us that he understood that the complainant was doing exams and that he would be unavailable. The solicitor undertook to forward the relevant documents to the Tribunal 'shortly'. The Tribunal wrote to the complainant's representative on 28 May 2010 stating that as no such documents had been received the hearing would proceed as scheduled. A fax was received on 31 May 2010 stating that the complainant's representative had received no supporting documentation from the complainant despite having requested it.
2.1. In the light of the foregoing, and in accordance with Section 79(6) of the Acts, I issue the following decision. I find that the complainant's failure to attend a hearing was unreasonable in the circumstances of this case and that any obligation under Section 79 has ceased. As no evidence was given at the hearing in support of her allegation of discrimination I conclude the investigation and find against the complainant.
01 June 2010