Case Number: ADJ-00000155-B. Workplace Relations Commission

CourtWorkplace Relations Commission
Judgment Date01 August 2016
Docket NumberADJ-00000155-B
PartiesAn Accountant v A Financial Services Provider

Adjudication Decision Reference: ADJ-00000155-B

Complaint(s)/Dispute(s) for Resolution:


Complaint/Dispute Reference No.

Date of Receipt

Complaint seeking adjudication by the Workplace Relations Commission under section 77 of the Employment Equality Acts 1998 -2015



Date of Adjudication Hearing: 24th May 2016

Workplace Relations Commission Adjudication Officer: Orlaith Mannion



An Accountant


A Financial Services Provider

File reference: CA-00001088/AdJ-00000155

Keywords: Employment Equality Acts, Civil Status, Family Status, Age, Race, Access to promotion, Access to training, No prima face case


1.1 The case concerns a claim by an accountant against a provider of financial services. His claim is that he was discriminated against on the grounds of Civil Status, Family Status, Age and Race/Nationality in terms of 6(2)(b), (c), (f) and (h) of the Employment Equality Acts 1998 - 2015 [hereinafter referred to as ‘the Acts’] in relation to access to promotion and training. He also claims harassment on the aforementioned grounds as well as victimisation. As per Section 102 of the Acts, he opted to have his dismissal investigated as unfair rather than discriminatory, the dismissal is not considered here.

1.2 The complainant referred a complaint under the Acts to the Workplace Relations Commission on 13th October 2015. On 3rd May 2016 in accordance with his powers under Section 16 of the Workplace Relations Act 2015), the Director General delegated the case to me, Orlaith Mannion, an Adjudication Officer, for investigation, hearing and decision and for the exercise of other relevant functions of the Director General under Part VII of the Acts. On this date, my investigation commenced. and a joint hearing was held on 24th May 2016 as required by Section 79(1) of the Acts.

Summary of the complainant’s case

2.1 The complainant submits that he was the oldest employee with the financial services provider and the only employee with children. He submits that there was a long-hours culture there which is not family-friendly. He was expected to work long hours and sometimes come in at weekends. The employees who stayed late were the ones who did not have children and therefore they were promoted quicker.

2.2 He also submits that he was treated differently because he is a different nationality. He was born in what is now Ukraine but identifies as Russian. His parents and his wife also identify as ethnic Russians. When there was unrest in Eastern Ukraine and a colleague was critical of Russia, the complainant submits that he was upset over this as she did not understand the problem as he did. He submits that colleagues laughed at him for putting water rather than milk in his porridge. He submits that is what people do where he is from so for colleagues to be quizzical about it is discrimination on the ground of race. He submits that Ms A (Director of the respondent) said in relation to St Petersburg ‘That is the last place I would go to’. He maintains that he was also not allowed to speak to other Russian-speaking colleagues in Russian.

2.3 The complainant also submits that a colleague used to joke with him about having four daughters. He submits that this colleague thought he was inferior because the complainant had daughters rather than sons.

2.4 Regarding harassment, he submits that he was deliberately poisoned by his colleagues at a Christmas party. He submits that could be the only...

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