THE EQUALITY TRIBUNAL
EMPLOYMENT EQUALITY ACTS
Decision DEC - E2012 - 143
Mr Antonio Fonseca
C&D Foods Ltd.
File Reference: EE/2012/143
Date of Issue: 26th October, 2012
Headnotes: Employment Equality Acts, 1998 to 2008, section 6,8 - Training - Discriminatory Dismissal - Conditions of EmploymentRace - Failure to attend - Unreasonable in the circumstances
1.1. This case concerns a complaint by Mr. Antonio Fonseca (hereinafter referred to as "the complainant") that he was discriminated against by C&D Foods, Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as "the respondent") on the ground of race, contrary to section 6(2)(h) of the Employment Equality Acts (hereinafter referred to as "the Acts"), and contrary to Section 8(1)(c) in relation to conditions of employment.
2.1 The complainant referred a complaint under the Employment Equality Acts to the Director of the Equality Tribunal on 29th September, 2010 alleging that the respondent had discriminated against him on the ground of race.
2.2 On the 24th September, 2012, in accordance with his powers under section 75 of the Acts, the Director delegated the case to me, Gary O'Doherty, an Equality Officer, for investigation, hearing and decision and for the exercise of other relevant functions of the Director under Part VII of the Employment Equality Acts, on which date my investigation commenced. A hearing of the complaint was held on 17th October, 2012.
3. Attendance at hearing
3.1. On 17th July, 2012, and in accordance with the normal procedures of the Tribunal, the representatives of the parties were notified in writing, by registered post, of the date, time and location of the hearing that was scheduled to take place in relation to the matter, in accordance with Section 79(6) of the Acts.
3.2. On 16th October, 2012, the complainant's representative wrote to the Tribunal stating that it had been unable to receive instructions from him, in particular as to whether he would be in attendance at the hearing. In that context, it stated that it was withdrawing his representation of him. After seeking clarification on the matter, the Tribunal received confirmation from the complainant's representative that the complainant was aware of the time, date and venue for the hearing. The Tribunal then attempted to make contact with the complainant, through the e-mail address and phone numbers provided to it, in order to confirm his attendance at the hearing. Both the e-mail address and telephone number appeared to be out of service. In any event, the Tribunal was unable to contact the complainant at the contact details provided to it.
3.3. The case having been assigned to me on 24th September, 2012, I proceeded to open the hearing at the scheduled time and date of 10.30 a.m. on Wednesday, 17th October, 2012. The respondent was in attendance at the hearing, along with its representative. The complainant was not in attendance at the hearing. As I was satisfied that the complainant had been served with valid notification of the hearing, I noted his absence and concluded the hearing.
4.1. In accordance with Section 79(6) of the Employment Equality Acts I issue the following decision:
4.2. As part of my investigation under Section 79 of the Acts, I am obliged to hold a hearing. The complainant, through his representative, was notified of the arrangements for the hearing in writing, by recorded delivery, on 17th July, 2012. 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.
26th October, 2012