Case Number: ADJ-00000132. Workplace Relations Commission

CourtWorkplace Relations Commission
Docket NumberADJ-00000132
Date10 March 2017
PartiesA Customer v A Bus Company
ADJUDICATION OFFICER DECISION

Adjudication Decision Reference: ADJ-00000132

Complaint(s)/Dispute(s) 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-00000174-001

11/10/2015

Date of Adjudication Hearing: 14/12/2016 - Three earlier hearings had taken place (13th January 2016, 5th May and 19th July 2016. All had been adjourned to allow further investigations/attendance of witness parties.

Workplace Relations Commission Adjudication Officer: Michael McEntee

Procedure:

In accordance with Section 25 of the Equal Status Act, 2000 following the referral of the complaint(s)/dispute(s) to me by the Director General, I inquired into the complaint(s)/dispute(s) and gave the parties an opportunity to be heard by me and to present to me any evidence relevant to the complaint(s)/dispute(s).

Complainant’s Submission and Presentation:

On the 27th June 2015 I was attempting to board a XX route bus operated by Respondent Bus in Clongriffin, when I was the subjected by an employee of Respondent Bus (the driver) to upsetting, contumelious and defamatory language which included the use of expletives, in the presence of witnesses. I suffer from rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis such that I am afforded the use of a Free Travel Pass. The Respondent Bus employee stated words to the effect that I was not entitled to such a pass, that I was not in reality suffering from a disability, and that I would not be getting on the bus. I was subsequently allowed to travel on the bus. I was shocked and upset by this outburst, and was made to feel embarrassed and humiliated in front of others, and was initially refused entry onto the bus, all because of the non-overt nature of my disability and my use of a government benefit afford to persons such as myself suffering from a disability.

Summary of Respondent’s Submission and Presentation:

On the basis of the details supplied by the Complainant and arising from the first and second Adjudication hearings the alleged incident was fully investigated. It was necessary first of all to identify the exact bus service/route and the exact time of the service against which the complaint was being made. Once done the investigation could reveal nothing untoward and the claim is denied.

Decision:

Section 25 of the Equal Status Act, 200 requires that I make a decision in relation to the complaint in accordance with the relevant redress provisions under section 27 of that Act.

Issues for Decision:

Did an act of discrimination take place on the date in question?

Legislation involved and requirements of legislation:

Equal Status Act, 2000

Decision:

Burden of Proof in Equality/Equal Status cases.

It is settled law that the Complainant has to establish a prima facie case of discrimination before the need for a rebuttal arises from the Respondent.

Evidence

This case is marked by a complete conflict of evidence. After much investigation it was established that the bus involved was the 23:00...

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