The Equality Tribunal
3 Clonmel Street
Phone: 353 -1- 4774100
Fax: 353-1- 4774141
Employment Equality Acts 2000 to 2008
EQUALITY OFFICER'S DECISION
(Represented by Grogan and Associates Solicitors)
Lina and Mecislovas Macaitis t/a Irish Baltic Health Bridge Limited
File No. EE/2009/684
Date of Issue: November 2011
File reference: EE/2009/684 - DEC-E2011-209
Employment Equality Acts - Discriminatory treatment - Harassment -Discriminatory dismissal - Victimisation - Gender - Race- Prima Facie Case
1. Dispute and delegation
1.1 This dispute concerns a claim by Ms. Lina Stankute (hereafter "the complainant") that she was subjected to discriminatory treatment, harassment, discriminatory dismissal and victimisation by Lina and Mecislovas Macaitis trading as 'Irish Baltic Health Bridge' (hereafter "the respondents") on the grounds of her gender and race. The complainant submitted that the first date of discriminatory act was on 22 June 2008. The date of dismissal was 11 July 2009
1.2 The complainant referred a claim of discrimination to the Director of the Equality Tribunal on 21 September 2009 under the Employment Equality Acts. A further claim of victimisation was submitted on 11 September 2009. On 29 September 2011, in accordance with his powers under section 75 of the Acts, the Director then delegated the case 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 21 October 2011.
2. The hearing
2.1. Both parties were advised of the date of the hearing by registered post dated on 15 July 2011. The complainant's representative wrote to the Tribunal, in a letter dated 25 May 2011, informing it that the first named respondent had deceased. The representative undertook to obtain further information on the matter and revert to the Tribunal. No further facts have been received in relation to this matter. On 25 July 2011, the Tribunal wrote to the parties informing them of the upcoming hearing date. The notification letter was sent by registered letter to the respondent address that had been provided by the complainant.
2.2. The complainant did not attend the hearing. The complainant's representative did attend to say that the first named respondent had deceased and that he assumed that the second named respondent was outside the jurisdiction. The representative suggested that he may be in a position to obtain the correct address for the second named respondent and requested a period of two weeks to do so. The complainant's representative has been in contact to inform the Tribunal that it is unable to ascertain the address.
2.3. Section 85A clearly places an onus on the complainant to establish a prima facie case of discrimination before an investigation can proceed. This Tribunal has not informed of any exceptional circumstances excusing the complainant's failure to attend at the hearing.
3.1. In the light of the foregoing, 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. I conclude the investigation and find against the complainant.
9 November 2011