Campbell Catering Ltd Trading as Aramark Ireland (Represented by Irish Business Employers' Confederation) v Marie Fogarty (Represented by Services Industrial Professional Technical Union)
Labour Court (Ireland)
1. Appeal of Adjudication Officer's Decision No: DEC-E2017-006.
2. The Worker appealed the Decision of the Adjudication Officer to the Labour Court in accordance with Section 83(1) of the Employment Equality Acts, 1998 to 2011. A Labour Court hearing took place on 25 January 2018. The following is the Determination of the Court:
This matter comes before the Court as an appeal of a decision of an Adjudication Officer in a complaint by Ms Marie Fogarty (the Appellant) that she had been discriminated against on grounds of family status in that she had been harassed by her employer Aramark Ireland (the Respondent) contrary to the Employment Equality Act, 1998 to 2015.
The Adjudication officer, in a decision dated 24 th January 2017 decided that the respondent did not harass nor victimise the Appellant within the meaning of the Act.
The basic facts of the case are not in dispute.
The Appellant is employed by the Respondent as a catering Assistant located at Portiuncula Hospital. The Appellant has been employed by the Respondent since 3 rd November 2008.
On 8th October 2014 a manager of the Respondent, Ms O'D, invited the Appellant to her office where she enquired of the Appellant if she had a problem with her hair. When the Appellant responded in the negative Ms O'D enquired as to whether the Appellant's daughter had a problem with her hair. The Appellant responded in the negative and enquired as to whether Ms O'D meant ‘nits’ (i.e. head lice)
At the termination of the meeting the Appellant returned to her ward and went to the ward kitchen. Ms O'D arrived in the ward kitchen and ultimately, following an interaction, the Appellant left.
The Respondent supplied the Appellant with a copy of the Respondent's Dignity at Work policy and she made a complaint. That complaint was investigated and the Respondent found that Ms O'D managed the conversation with the Appellant in her office incorrectly but that Ms O'D did not intend to upset the Appellant and had offered the Appellant an apology. The investigation also found that the interaction in the ward kitchen did not amount to intimidation of the Appellant by Ms O'D.
The Appellant appealed that outcome and an appeal hearing took place which upheld the original decision but recommending that further training pertaining to the company's policies take place and that mediation between Ms O'D and the Appellant should take place. Training has since been provided to...
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