Case Number: DEC-E2012-001- Full Case Report. Equality Tribunal

Docket NumberDEC-E2012-001- Full Case Report
Date01 January 2012
CourtEquality Tribunal
The Equality Tribunal

Employment Equality Acts 1998 to 2011
NO: DEC-E2012-001
Parties Mokhtar Hbari
(Represented by Grogan and Associates Solicitors)
Noonan Services Limited
(Represented by Irish Business and Employers Confederation)
File Reference No. EE/2009/179 and EE/2009/423 and EE/2009/475 Date of Issue: 26th January 2012

Key words:
Employment Equality Acts - Discriminatory treatment - Training - Conditions of Employment -- Victimisation - Race- Prima Facie Case

1. Dispute and delegation

1.1 This dispute concerns a claim by Mr. Mokhtar Hbari (hereafter "the complainant") that he was subjected to discriminatory treatment and victimisation by Noonan Services Limited (hereafter "the respondent") on the grounds of his race.

1.2 The complainant referred a claim of discrimination to the Director of the Equality Tribunal on 16 March 2009 under the Employment Equality Acts.
Further complaints alleging harassment and victimisation on the race ground were received on 24th June and 14th July 2009. The complaint of harassment was withdrawn at the hearing. In accordance with his powers under section 75 of the Acts, the Director then delegated these cases to Orlaith Mannion - an Equality Officer - for investigation, hearing and decision and for the exercise of other relevant functions of the Director under Part VII of the Acts on 29th September 2011. The investigation commenced on that day. As required by Section 79(1) and as part of my investigation, a hearing was scheduled for 12th October 2011. An Arabic interpreter was requested by the complainant.

2. Case for the complainant

2.1. The complainant - who is an Irish citizen - is originally from Tunisia. He is employed as a cleaner with the respondent company since 11 January 2001. He is still in the respondent's employment.

The complainant submits that he was not provided with a contract of employment. It was submitted that there is a requirement to take special measures to advise a foreign national of employment rights.

2.3 The complainant maintains he was not provided with proper Health and Safety documentation and/or training in accordance with the Health and Safety Act 2005.
The complainant contends that subsequent to the decision 58 complainants v Goode Concrete (DEC-E2008-020) there is a requirement to provide foreign nationals with health and safety documentation in a language likely to be understood by the complainant.

The complainant submits that he was not paid overtime at higher rates despite the complainant is covered by Joint Labour Committee for the cleaning industry.

2.5 The complainant submitted that he was called to a disciplinary meeting after he lodged his complaints. During this meeting, Mr Hbari was told that one of the reasons why the complainant had been called to such meeting was because he had accused the respondent of being racist. The complainant submits that has never made such allegations against his employer. Furthermore he claims he was asked about the claims he had made to this Tribunal.

2.6 The complainant submitted in his complaint lodged on 14 July 2009 that at this meeting his hours were reduced from 48 to 42 hours per week.

3. Case for the respondent

3.1. The respondent provides, inter alia, contract cleaning services.

The respondent submits that a contract of employment was provided to the complainant in the same manner as to any other employee regardless of nationality/ethnic background.

The complainant was shown what to do - he also completed a one-day training course in how to operate a particular vacuum cleaner. This training was provided to the complainant in the same manner as any other employee regardless of nationality/ethnic background.


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