EQUALITY OFFICER'S DECISION NO: DEC-E/2010/112
(REPRESENTED BY RICHARD GROGAN AND ASSOCIATES - SOLICITORS)
ASHAVON DEVELOPMENTS LTD
File No: EE/2007/404
Date of issue: 28 June, 2010
Headnotes: Employment Equality Acts, 1998-2007 - sections 6,8,14A and 77 -race - - discriminatory treatment - harassment -conditions of employment -dismissal - non-attendance at Hearing - burden of proof- prima facie case
1.1 The complainant referred a complaint under the Employment Equality Acts, 1998-2007 to the Equality Tribunal on 7 August, 2007 alleging that the respondent had (i) discriminated against him on grounds of race, in terms of section 6(2) of the Employment Equality Acts, 1998-2007 and contrary to section 8 of those Acts, (ii) harassed him on grounds of race, in terms of section 6(2) of the Employment Equality Acts, 1998-2007 and contrary to section 14A of those Acts, (iii) dismissed him in circumstances amounting to discrimination on grounds of race in terms of section 6(2) of the Employment Equality Acts, 1998- 2007 and contrary to section 77 of those Acts and (iv) victimised him in terms of section 74(2) of the Employment Equality Acts, 1998- 2007. In accordance with her powers under the Acts the Director delegated the complaint to the undersigned - Vivian Jackson, Equality Officer, for investigation and decision and for the exercise of other relevant functions of the Director under Part VII of the Acts. My investigation of the complaint commenced on 22 October, 2009, the date the complaint was delegated to me.
1.2 Some issues arose about the correct postal details for the respondent and once those were clarified I notified the parties in writing on 21 April, 2010 that a Hearing on the complaint would take place at the Tribunal's Office on 21 June, 2010 commencing at 10:30am. This notification was sent by recorded delivery. The complainant did not attend the Hearing. However, his representative was in attendance and informed the Equality Officer that the complainant was abroad until November, 2010 and was therefore unable to attend the Hearing.
2. DECISION OF THE EQUALITY OFFICER.
Section 79(1) of the Employment Equality Acts, 1998-2008 requires me, as part of my investigation, to hold a Hearing. The parties were notified of the arrangements for the Hearing in writing, by recorded delivery, on 21 April, 2010. I am satisfied that the complainant's representative received this notification within days of it issuing from this Tribunal. He confirmed at the Hearing that the complainant is now abroad and is not scheduled to return to Ireland until November, 2010. It was open to the complainant's representative to seek an adjournment of the Hearing arrangements at any time after 21 April, 2010, however it did not do so. In the circumstances I find that the complainant's failure to attend the Hearing is unreasonable and that any obligation under section 79(1) has ceased. As no evidence was presented by the complainant in support of his complaint I conclude the investigation and find against the complainant.
28 June, 2010