THE EQUALITY TRIBUNAL
EMPLOYMENT EQUALITY ACTS 1998-2008
Decision DEC - E2011 - 053
Mr. Piotr Jozwiak
(Rep by Maguire McClafferty Solicitors)
Clane Catering & Refrigeration Ltd.
(Rep. by Murphy Gibbons Solicitors)
File Reference: EE/2008/131
Date of Issue: 18 March 2011
The case concerns a claim by Mr. Piotr Jozwiak that he was discriminated against by Clane Catering & Refrigeration Ltd. on the grounds of his race and disability contrary to Section 6(2) (g) and (h) of the Employment Equality Acts 1998 to 2008, in terms of his conditions of employment.
The complainant referred a complaint under the Employment Equality Acts 1998 to 2008 to the Director of the Equality Tribunal on 3 March 2008. On 16 July 2010, in accordance with his powers under S. 75 of the Acts, the Director delegated the case to me, Valerie Murtagh, 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 this date my investigation commenced. As required by Section 79(1) of the Acts and as part of my investigation, I proceeded to arrange a joint hearing into the matter on 12 January, 2011. However, the complainant's solicitor requested an adjournment based on the fact that the complainant was resident in Poland and required more notice in order to arrange a trip to Ireland. I granted an adjournment on that basis and re-scheduled the joint hearing for 9 March, 2011. On Friday 4 March at 5 pm, I received a fax from the complainant's solicitor requesting a further adjournment on the basis that they were unable to contact their client to get instruction and confirmation that he would attend the hearing on 9 March, 2011. An adjournment was not granted as the solicitor representing the complainant had ample time to contact his client and had received adequate notice of the re-scheduled hearing. On the day of the hearing, the respondent was in attendance. The complainant was not in attendance. The respondent was advised that under the circumstances, the complainant's case would fail for want of prosecution.
In the light of the foregoing, and in accordance with Section 79(6) of the Employment Equality Acts 1998 to 2008, 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.
18 March, 2011