EQUAL STATUS ACTS 2000-2008
Decision No. DEC-S2012-023
Auburn Lodge Hotel and Benster Ltd
File Reference: ES/2011/0070
Date of Issue: 18th June 2012
Key words: Equal Status Acts, Member of Traveller community, Discrimination, Non-attendance at hearing.
Delegation under the relevant legislation
This case concerns a complaint by Veronica Battles that she was discriminated against by the Auburn Lodge hotel on the Traveller community ground contrary to 5(1) of the Equal Status Acts 2000 - 2008 [hereinafter referred to as 'the Acts']. On 18th April 2011 the complainant referred a claim to the Director of the Equality Tribunal under the Acts. On 25th May 2012, in accordance with his powers under section 75 of the Employment Equality Acts 1998 -2008 and under these Acts, the Director delegated the case to me, Orlaith Mannion, an Equality Officer, for investigation, hearing and decision and for the exercise of other relevant functions of the Director under Part III of the Equal Status Acts. This is the date that my investigation commenced. As required by Section 25(1) and as part of my investigation, I proceeded to hearing on 5th June 2012.
Conclusions of the Equality Officer - Non-attendance of the complainant
The complainant's representative was notified of the date of the hearing, by registered post, on 17th April 2012. On 23rd May 2012 Malone Hegarty Solicitors informed the Tribunal that they had informed the complainant of the date of the hearing but they were no longer representing the complainant and gave the Tribunal her home address. The following day the Tribunal wrote to the complainant at her home reiterating the time and date of the hearing. I am satisfied that all reasonable efforts has been made to inform the complainant of the hearing. However, she did not attend the hearing. In the light of the foregoing and in accordance with Section 25(4) of the Acts I issue the following decision:
As part of my investigation under Section 25 of the Acts, I am obliged to hold a hearing. I find that the failure of Veronica Battles to attend such a hearing was unreasonable in the circumstances and that any obligation under Section 25 has ceased. As no evidence was given at the hearing in support of the allegation of discrimination in relation to this complainant, I conclude the investigation of her complaint and find against the complainant.