THE EQUALITY TRIBUNAL
EMPLOYMENT EQUALITY ACTS 1998-2011
Ms Svetlana Solovjova
Ready Chef Ltd (represented by Sherry’s Solicitors)
File Reference: EE/2012/099
Date of Issue: 16th of May, 2014
1.1. The case concerns a claim by Ms Svetlana Solovjova that Ready Chef Ltd discriminated against her on the grounds of disability and race contrary to Sections 6(2)(g) and (h) of the Employment Equality Acts 1998 to 2011, in terms of harassment and discriminatory dismissal. The complainant also complains about having been victimised contrary to S. 74(2) of the Acts.
1.2. The complainant referred a complaint under the Employment Equality Acts 1998 to 2011 to the Director of the Equality Tribunal on 9 February 2012. A submission was received from the complainant on 14 March 2012. No submission was received from the respondent. On 9 May 2014, in accordance with his powers under S. 75 of the Acts, the Director delegated the case to me, Stephen Bonnlander, 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 hold a joint hearing of the case on 16 May 2014. On 13 May 2014, the Tribunal received correspondence from the complainant’s former solicitor, in which they came off the record. The solicitor nevertheless assured both myself, and the respondent’s solicitor, by email and telephone, that the hearing would proceed. I also instructed the Tribunal Secretariat on 13 May to re-send the hearing notification by registered post to the complainant’s last known postal address.
1.3. On the morning of the hearing, the respondent and their solicitor were in attendance. The complainant was not present. I adjourned the hearing for ten minutes to allow for unexpected delays on the part of the complainant. The complainant still did not appear, and made no contact with the Tribunal to explain her absence.
2.1. 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 on the complainant’s complaint of harassment, victimisation and discriminatory dismissal. As part of my investigation under Section 79 of the Act, I am obliged to hold a hearing into the matter. 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 allegations of discrimination, victimisation and discriminatory dismissal I conclude the investigation of this complaint and find against the complainant.
16 May 2014