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Age and Health Discrimination

This is an interesting case in which an employer suggested that it had cited age and heath to be the reason for a cleaner's dismissal to assist her getting social welfare, rather than referring to the real gross misconduct reason of inappropriate behaviour with a resident in the disability service that she worked in. This was a costly mistake that resulted in an award of €10,000 being made against them for discrimination (ADJ - 00025681)

Discrimination During Maternity Leave

As we approach a period of restructuring and potential redundancies due to the implications of Covid 19, employers should not forget that employees who are on maternity leave are entitled to return to the position held prior to going on maternity leave, or an equivalent post, on terms and conditions that are no less favourable. The decision reached in a recent equality case ADJ-000231830 serves as an useful reminder of how employees on maternity leave are protected.

€55k Awarded To Director of Marketing For Discrimination On Grounds of Gender

The Complainant has been employed for almost four years before made redundant without notice, and 14 days after informing her employer that she was pregnant. The Complainant contended that she had been discriminated against on gender and family status grounds and had been dismissed by means of redundancy due to her pregnancy.

Forced Retirement Was Discrimination on Grounds of Age

Another recent case dealing with the issue of the forced retirement of a legal secretary who had 40 years service, once again highlights the difficulties that employers face in implementing retirements, when they have not established a fixed retirement age, on objective grounds, either contractually or through custom and practice (Ref ADJ - 00016645).

Dismissal Was Not Due To Redundancy & Related to Complainant's Pregnancy

A recent decision of an Adjudication Officer under the Employment Equality Acts 1998 - 2015 found that the Complainant had made a prima facie case of discrimination on grounds of gender, and had been dismissed due to her pregnancy and not due to reasons of redundancy as purported by the Respondent Company.The Complainant was awarded €14k compensation.

Discrimination On Grounds of Disability

In a recent Labour Court Determination (EDA 1838), the importance of reviewing all available medical evidence and potential pending medical information was highlighted when Dunnes Stores lost it's appeal against an award that had been made against it, after they had dismissed an Assistant Manager who had been absent for over 2 years with a stress related condition.

RTE & SOLAS Breach Equality Legislaiton On Grounds of Age.

​As the award of €50,000 for age discrimination last week by the WRC to former RTE Reporter, Valerie Cox, made the news headlines, employers are once again reminded that whilst there is no current direct statutory bar on having a workplace retirement age, it remains very easy to fall foul of current employment equality legislation in respect of dealing with employees who have reached "retirement age" or who are coming close to it. In a separate case published recently Solas were ordered to pay €20k to an employee for asking a discriminatory question during an interview.

Mandatory Retirement Ages

The recent High Court decision in Quigley v HSE [2017] IEHC 654 is a pertinent reminder for employers that they may face potential legal issues if they try and enforce a retirement age when there is no clear written or implied contractual right to do so, or in the event that there is that such a retirement age cannot be objectively justified.

What steps should employers take to ensure that they can defend a sexual harassment claim?

In a recent determination published by the Labour Court (EDA175) the necessity for all employers regardless of size to have in place a written policy on harassment in the workplace was once again stressed.

Religious Observance in the Workplace

With an increasingly diverse workforce many employers have difficulty in dealing with requests for time off to observe religious holidays and other workplace issues related to religion and beliefs.

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