Case Number: DEC-E2016-054. Workplace Relations Commission

CourtWorkplace Relations Commission
Judgment Date01 March 2016
Docket NumberDEC-E2016-054
PartiesAn Employee -v- An Employer
EMPLOYMENT EQUALITY ACTS DECISION NO. DEC-E2016-054 PARTIES An Employee AND An Employer (Represented by Donagh Farrell B.L. instructed by LK Shields) File reference: EE/2013/479 Date of issue: 24 March 2016

HEADNOTES: Employment Equality Acts - Gender – Sexual Harassment


1.1. This dispute concerns a claim by An Employee that he was discriminated against by An Employer on the grounds of gender contrary to section 6 of the Employment Equality Acts, in that he was sexually harassed contrary to section 14A of the Acts and that he was victimised in accordance with section 74 (2) of the Acts.

1.2. The complainant referred his claim to the Director of the Equality Tribunal on 13 September 2013 under the Employment Equality Acts. On 8 July 2015, in accordance with his powers under section 75 of the Acts, the Director delegated the case to me, Hugh Lonsdale, 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 which date my investigation commenced. Submissions were received from both parties. In accordance with Section 79(1) of the Acts and as part of my investigation I proceeded to a hearing on 17 July 2015.

1.3. This decision is issued by me following the establishment of the Workplace Relations Commission on 1 October 2015, as an Adjudication Officer who was an Equality Officer prior to 1 October 2015, in accordance with section 83.3 of the Workplace Relations Act 2015.


2.1. The complainant submits that he was offered a position as Sales Executive with the respondent and was due to start work with them on 26 November 2012. Before he started, on 2 November he was invited to an office party and he submits that at the party in the office Ms A ‘came onto’ him in an overtly sexual manner, and she was due to be his boss. The party adjourned to a pub and Ms A continued to come onto him. Then a number of people got into taxis to go to a nightclub in central Dublin. He got into the same taxi as Ms A and she started kissing him and he responded. He left the nightclub fairly soon after arriving.

2.2. The following morning he got a text message from Ms A in which she apologised and also came onto him again. They met for lunch and he said there could not be a relationship and she said they could be friends who could flirt.

2.3. He started work and Ms A continued to come onto him with sexual comments every day. He submits he did not know how to deal with it. She was very helpful regarding work. She repeatedly invited him for drinks, all of which he declined. In late December 2012 he agreed to meet her in a hotel and then cancelled at the last minute. He telephoned her over the Christmas/New Year period and said her advances were not welcome. However, she continued to send explicit texts.

2.4. The complainant submits that to protect himself he spoke to the Managing Director. He first got reassurance that the MD was happy with his progress and performance and then he told him he was being sexually harassed by Ms A. The MD gave him some advice on how to handle it, something which the MD subsequently denied. The respondent did not deal with his allegations as a disciplinary matter.

2.5. The complainant submits that within days of making his allegations he came under the disciplinary process himself about expenses and complaints about his performance. He strongly believes they were connected and that this amounts to victimisation.


3.1. The respondent submits that on 4 March 2013 the MD met the complainant offsite and the complainant made serious allegations against Ms A but said that he did not want to raise a formal grievance. They met again on 6 March and again the complainant said he did not want to raise a formal grievance. However, he then sent an email stating he did want to use the company’s informal process to resolve the issue. On 8 March 2013 the MD had separate meetings with the complainant and Ms A. Both parties agreed that they would not have contact with each other and everything was to go through the MD. Following this meeting the MD considered the matter closed. Neither party raised any further issues.

3.2. On 19 April 2013 the MD held a third review meeting with the complainant in relation to serious conduct and...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT