Case Number: ADJ-00000030. Workplace Relations Commission

CourtWorkplace Relations Commission
Docket NumberADJ-00000030
Date10 November 2016
PartiesA Complainant v A Government Department
ADJUDICATION OFFICER DECISION Adjudication Decision Reference: ADJ-00000030 Complaint for Resolution:

Act

Complaint/Dispute Reference No.

Date of Receipt

Complaint seeking adjudication by the Workplace Relations Commission under Section 21 Equal Status Act, 2000

CA-00000047-001

04/10/2015

Date of Adjudication Hearing: 26/10/2016

Workplace Relations Commission Adjudication Officer: Pat Brady

Procedure:

In accordance with Section 41(4) of the Workplace Relations Act, 2015 and/or 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.

Attendance at Hearing:

By

Complainant

Respondent

Parties

A Complainant

A Government Department

Complainant’s Submission and Presentation:

The complainant stood as a candidate in local elections some years ago and received adverse attention on the internet for some of his views about homosexuality which are strongly influenced by his religious convictions.

The current case has indirectly arisen from his continuing attempts to have the internet provider remove those comments and they are only indirectly relevant to this complaint, although they have given rise to it.

A question arose as to why the Data Protection Commissioner has been placed outside the ambit of the Freedom of Information Act and when this was queried by the complainant he was eventually referred to the current respondent as the best source of an explanation.

Correspondence ensued between the parties which the complainant told the hearing he regarded as inadequate and unsatisfactory, and that this represented the discriminatory action under the Equal Status Act.

He also submitted that the reason it fell within the jurisdiction of the Equal Status Act was that it was motivated by antagonism to him on the grounds of his religious views which would have been known to the respondent as a result of his public profile.

He could not provide any submission on whether the treatment he alleges was less favourable to that provided to others of a different religious outlook.

Respondent’s Submission and Presentation:

The respondent says that no prima facie case has been established. The response given to him was clear and comprehensive and the officials who were involved knew nothing of the complainant’s religious views.

He had raised a query about why the Data Protection Commissioner was exempt from the Freedom of Information legislation and he was given a detailed response as to the reasons why.

The complainant had emailed the respondent on various occasions between March 9th 2015 and April 3rd and he received a response on each occasion.

There were further telephone queries and eventually a letter issued on May 22nd fully setting out the position.

The...

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