ADJUDICATION OFFICER DECISION
Adjudication Reference: ADJ-00011136
Complaint Reference No.
Date of Receipt
Complaint seeking adjudication by the Workplace Relations Commission under Section 21 Equal Status Act, 2000
Date of Adjudication Hearing: 15/03/2018
Workplace Relations Commission Adjudication Officer: James Kelly
In accordance with Section 25 of the Equal Status Act, 2000 following the referral of the complaint to me by the Director General, I inquired into the complaint and gave the parties an opportunity to be heard by me and to present to me any evidence relevant to the complaint.
The complainant claimed that he was discriminated against when he attempted to rent an apartment. He claims that he was refused because he was “on rent allowance” and because “[he was] black”.
The respondent totally refuted the claims made against it by the complainant.
Summary of Complainant’s Case:
The complainant did not attend the hearing and was not represented.
Summary of Respondent’s Case:
The respondent was present at the hearing and wished to defend the allegations made against it.
Findings and Conclusions:
The Hearing was scheduled for 12 noon. On the day of the hearing when it was evident that the complainant was not in attendance, I suspended the hearing for some time to allow for his late arrival. In that time, I made contact with the Workplace Relations Commission to see if the complainant had been in touch to explain his non-attendance. I was informed he had not made contact. On that basis, I started the hearing at 12:20pm and as the complainant did not attend the hearing, and as no evidence was given at this hearing in support of the allegations of discrimination, I conclude the investigation and find against the complainant.
Section 25 of the Equal Status Acts, 2000 – 2015 requires that I make a decision in relation to the complaint in accordance with the relevant redress provisions under section 27 of that Act.
As part of my investigation under Section 25 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 25 has ceased.
There is a requirement for the complainant to establish, in the first instance, facts upon which he can rely in asserting that prohibited conduct has occurred, in other words, to establish a prima facie case. It is only when a prima facie case has been established that the burden of proof shifts to the respondent to rebut the presumption of discrimination. The complainant failed to attend the hearing and consequently has not established a prima facie case. Accordingly, I conclude the investigation of this complaint and find against the complainant.
Dated: 24th April, 2018
Workplace Relations Commission Adjudication Officer:James Kelly
Equal Status Acts – no attendance - not established a prima facie case.