Case Number: ADJ-00013166. Workplace Relations Commission

Docket NumberADJ-00013166
Hearing Date15 May 2018
Date22 October 2018
CourtWorkplace Relations Commission
PartiesEithne O'Doherty V The Rehab Group
RespondentThe Rehab Group

Adjudication Reference: ADJ-00013166





Eithne O'Doherty

The Rehab Group



Anonymised Parties

A Trainee

A Training Facility





Complaint/Dispute Reference No.

Date of Receipt

Complaint seeking adjudication by the Workplace Relations Commission under section 77 of the Employment Equality Act, 1998



Date of Adjudication Hearing: 15/05/2018

Workplace Relations Commission Adjudication Officer: Valerie Murtagh


In accordance with Section 41 of the Workplace Relations Act, 2015 and Section 79 of the Employment Equality Acts, 1998 – 2015 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.


The complainant has a hearing disability and was engaged on a training course with the respondent in January 2012. She is claiming that she was not provided with reasonable accommodation for her disability and that she was subjected to victimisation by the respondent. She is also making a claim of harassment. In addition, she is claiming that she has been constructively dismissed from the course.

Summary of Complainant’s Case:

1.1 The complainant states that she was discriminated against by the respondent on grounds of her disability. She states that no assessment was carried out by the respondent into her disability and no efforts were made to provide her with reasonable accommodation despite numerous requests. She submits that she was not able to learn on the course because of her positioning in the classroom and her unfamiliarity with the computer system. She is claiming that she was subjected to harassment by the course tutor. She submits that the tutor was constantly shouting and bullying her and sniggering at her. On 17 September 2012, she requested a copy of the respondent’s anti-bullying policy and its Health and Safety statement. She states that the respondent refused to provide her with a copy of the anti-bullying policy. She also requested a copy of the grievance procedure and states that she was given different versions of it. The complainant submits that she made a protected disclosure in September 2012 regarding the suicidal ideation of a fellow trainee and was subjected to victimisation thereafter. She also contends that she was victimised in the failure by the respondent to provide her with the anti-bulling policy.

1.2 The complainant submits that in December 2012, she had an accident that resulted in injury. She claims that she was temporarily discharged from the course by the respondent on 25 January 2013 for a supposed accrual of 20 sick days over a calendar 4 month period. She states that she submitted a letter to the respondent dated 13 January 2013 that “she was not sick and was in fact very well”. She states that she set out for the Training Course on 13 January but was unable to access the training due to the unsafeness of the training situation, the lack of any reasonable accommodation, the failure to have adequate policies in place and the refusal to provide her with the anti- bullying policy.

1.3 The complainant also claims that she was victimised following taking an equal status claim while temporarily exited from the course. She submits that the respondent failed to make any efforts to reasonably accommodate her or make any provision for her whatsoever even after she brought said claim to the WRC. The complainant contends that in this regard the respondent continued to directly discriminate against her, to harass her and victimise her. The complainant states that the discrimination is a continuing act.

1.4 The complainant states that she attempted to bring forward her full claim as a trainee before the previous adjudication officer but was precluded from doing so as the complainant contends that said claim comes under the Employment Equality Acts. In this regard, the complainant states that she received a letter dated 15 December 2011 from Mr. W of the respondent organisation offering her a place for “vocational training” and requesting her to bring her registration to her “local FAS office” constituted the complainant’s contract. In addition, the complainant states that she was paid by FAS. The complainant contends that while the respondent may have held itself out as an educational establishment, the participants were treated as trainees on a path to employment. The complainant submits that the training contracted for was vocational training provided under a FAS service agreement, and under the auspices of a Named Training Centre, FAS. The complainant also contends that all official documents in the respondent organisation cited a FAS traineeship. The complainant submits that she is making the within claim pursuant to her status under section 12 of the Employment Equality Acts as a trainee.

1.5 The complainant contends she may be considered an employee pursuant to 2(e) of the Memorandum of Association of the respondent organisation which states: “To make provision for the education and training of employees and prospective employees of...

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