EQUAL STATUS ACTS 2000 - 2012
DECISION NO. DEC-S2016-079
A Third Level Educational Institution
(Represented by Holmes O’Malley Sexton Solicitors)
File reference: ES/2013/0008
Date: December 2016
This complaint concerns a claim by the Complainant that he was discriminated against by the third level educational institution (hereinafter the “Respondent”) on the grounds of race when he was expelled under Section 3 of Equal Status Acts 2000 and 2004 (hereinafter the “Acts”)
In accordance with her powers under Section 75 of the Acts, the Director General of the Workplace Relations Commission delegated the case to me, Caroline McEnery, an Adjudication Officer, for investigation, hearing and decision and for the exercise of other relevant functions of the Director under Part VII of the Acts. Submissions were received from both sides.
In accordance with Section 79 (1) of the Acts and as part of my investigation both parties attended a hearing on the 11 November 2016
The Complainant and the Respondent attended the hearing.
This decision is issued by me following the establishment of the Workplace Relations Commission, as an Adjudication Officer who was an Equality Officer prior to the 1st October 2015, in accordance with Section 84 (3) of the Workplace Relations Act 2015.
Complainant’s Submission and Presentation
The Complainant states he was expelled due to race as he reported hate crimes that he noted within the institution and he was expelled due to petitioning. The Complainant states that he was abruptly expelled from the University without any due process or reasoned findings.
The Complainant stated that he witnessed a hate crime on the campus and reported it. A fellow student, Miss A., who was an officer in the Respondents Student Union reported on the hate crime for the Respondent’s student union magazine. The Complainant states that his name was subsequently secretly removed from the grinds list on the website. The Complainant went to talk to Miss A. but the office was very busy. The Complainant noted that Miss A. told him that someone instructed her to do it. On the 27 January 2012 the Complainant emailed Miss A. and asked for reinstatement onto the grinds register. On the 30 January 2012 the Complainant received a response from Miss A. stating that due to the “current situation” the Complainant was involved in with Mr. B. the union was advised to remove him from the registered grinds portal until further notice.
The Complainant then made a complaint to the students union about Miss A. The Complainant was brought to a disciplinary in regards to the bullying of Miss A. The Complainant believed that he was following a legitimate procedure.
The Complainant asked to call witnesses including Miss A. This was not allowed by the Chair of the Investigation Body. The Complainant asked for the hearing to be recorded and was not allowed. This hearing occurred on the Friday before Easter 2012 when everyone went home. The Complainant stated his expulsion was predetermined in that a Solicitor acting on behalf of the Respondent released a document by mistake when the Complainant asked for details of his expulsion.
The Complainant states that he was expelled due to the fact that the Respondent did not want him reporting further hate crimes.
Respondent’s Submission and Presentation
The Respondent states they are unclear as to what happened on both the 15 August 2012 and the 21 December 2012 as noted in the complainants claim form.
The Respondent states that they are unclear as to who the complaint is against.
The Respondent states that there are no substantive details as to the nature and circumstances of the complaint. The Respondent states that as there are no substantive details via enclosure or otherwise in respect of the Complainant’s latest complaint it has rendered it impossible for the Respondent to respond to the same and to advance its position appropriately.
The Respondent states that other complaints have been made by the Complainant and both have been dismissed. The Respondent believes these issues have already been dealt with via previous Equality cases.
The Respondent states that this is not the forum to deliberate the disciplinary forum of the Respondents institution. The Respondent believes the Complainant’s complaint is vexatious and so it should be dismissed.
The Respondent states the Complainant has not established a prima facia case.
The Respondent is of the opinion that no event nor series of events regarding discrimination or race have been highlighted.
The Respondent states the Complainant has not identified a comparator and that no substantive facts have been presented.
The Respondent states that they refute in the strongest possible terms any discernible complaint furnished by the Complainant. The noted correspondence contains a litany of generalised assertions, inaccuracies and commentaries in respect of the Complainants dissatisfaction with various matters previously dealt with under the Equality Tribunal.
Findings and Conclusions
The Equal Status Acts provides that between any two persons, the discriminatory grounds exists if they are of different race, colour, nationality or ethnic or national origins. Section 38(A) of the Equal Status Acts sets out the burden of proof which applies in a claim of discrimination. It requires the complainant to establish, in the first instance, facts upon which he can rely in asserting that prohibited conduct has occurred in relation to him. In deciding on this complaint, therefore, I must first consider whether the existence of a prima facie case has been established by the complainant. It is only where such a prima facie case has been established that the onus shifts to the respondent to rebut the inference of discrimination raised. In reaching my decision I have taken into account all of the submissions, oral and written, made to me in the course of the investigation as well as the evidence presented at the hearing.
The Complainant has not presented evidence through his written and oral submissions which constitute a prima facie case and it is the opinion of this Adjudicator that the Complainant has not established the burden of proof in regards to his complaint. The Complainant did not provide evidence as to why the dates of the alleged discrimination occurred on the 14 August 2012 and the 21 August 2012. In addition, the Complainant has taken this discrimination complaint against the Respondent. The Respondent is not the employer of Miss. A whom the complaint states discriminated him.
In accordance with Section 25(4) of these Acts, I conclude this investigation and issue the following decision that the complainant has not established a prima facie case on the ground of race therefore because of this this case has not reached the necessary burden of proof to confirm his claim is well founded on the grounds of his race contrary to the Equal Status Acts 2000 and 2012.