ADJUDICATION OFFICER DECISION
Christopher Hughes BL
Complaint/Dispute Reference No.
Date of Receipt
Date of Adjudication Hearing:
Workplace Relations Commission Adjudication Officer:
In accordance with Section 21 of the Equal Status Act 2000 (as amended) an individual may seek redress in respect of any prohibited conduct that has been directed against him or her by referring a case to the Workplace Relations Commission. It is a condition precedent to bringing any such matter before the Workplace Relations Commission that the individual complainant shall have already notified the Respondent in writing (Form ES 1) of the nature of the allegation and the intention to seek such redress if not satisfied with the Respondent’s response. This Notice in writing shall be brought within two months of the said prohibited conduct or the last instance of same.
A Respondent may choose to reply with an explanation for the treatment by returning the attached ES 2 Form.
Pursuant to Section 25 of the Equal Status Act 2000 I have had the within matter referred to me by the Director General for the purpose of investigation into claims of discrimination and I have heard where appropriate interested parties and have considered any relevant documentation (if any) provided in advance of the hearing and in the course of the hearing. At the conclusion of any such investigation I shall make a decision and if in favour of the Complainant I shall provide for redress (s.25 (4)).
Generally, discrimination under this Act is taken to have occurred where a person is treated less favourably that another person is (or would be) treated and by reason of any of the discriminatory grounds (as specified).
Broadly, the Equal Status Act prohibits discrimination in the context of buying and selling goods from and to the public (or a section thereof) and also in the context of using and providing services available to the public (or a section thereof).
The Act allows for an Order for compensation for the effects of the prohibited conduct or that a person or persons take a specified course of action.
In relation to the applicable burden of proof, section 38A of the Acts is applicable to all complaints of discrimination under the Equal Status Acts and requires the Complainant to establish, in the first instance, facts from which a discrimination can be inferred. It is only when such a prima facie case has been established that the onus shifts to the Respondent to rebut the inference of discrimination. (Double check 18/10)
Under Section 27(1) of the Act redress may be ordered where there has been a finding in favour of the Complainant. Redress can include compensation for the effects of the prohibited conduct concerned or can take the form of an order that persons specified take a specific course of action.
The Complainant initiated a claim under the Equal Status Act by issuing a workplace relations complaint form on the 1st of May 2019.
Summary of Complainant’s Case:
The Complaint is as set out in the Complaint. The Complainant did not attend the hearing to substantiate or otherwise make his claim.
Summary of Respondent’s Case:
The Respondent was represented, and I was provided with a submission.
Findings and Conclusions:
The Complainant did not attend the hearing. I am satisfied that the Complainant was notified of the date of the hearing by letter (sent to his address as provided) on the 25th of October 2019. Having allowed 30 minutes to elapse with no communication I concluded the Complainant was not attending and was not prosecuting his claim. After a further 24 hours no further contact or communication has been made.
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.
Complaint seeking adjudication by the Workplace Relations Commission under Section 21 Equal Status Act, 2000
The Complainant has failed to establish, in the first instance, facts from which a discrimination can be inferred. He has not made out a prima facie case. His claim of discrimination fails for the lack of evidence.