Case Number: DEC-E2016-015. Workplace Relations Commission

CourtWorkplace Relations Commission
Date02 February 2016
Docket NumberDEC-E2016-015
PartiesSean Rooney -v- St Catherine’s Association
EMPLOYMENT EQUALITY ACTS DECISION NO. DEC-E2016-015 PARTIES Sean Rooney AND St Catherine’s Association (Represented by IBEC) File reference: EE/2014/417 Date of issue: 2nd February 2016

HEADNOTES: Employment Equality Acts – Gender – Conditions of Employment


1.1. This dispute concerns a claim by Mr Sean Rooney that he was discriminated against by St Catherine’s Association on the grounds of Gender contrary to section 6 of the Employment Equality Acts in relation to conditions of employment in terms of section 8 of those Acts.

1.2. The complainant referred a claim to the Director of the Equality Tribunal on 30th July 2014 under the Employment Equality Acts. On 29th October 2015 in accordance with his powersunder section 75 of the Employment Equality Acts, the Director General of the Workplace Relations Commission referred the case to me, Pat Brady an Adjudication Officer/Equality 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 which date my investigation commenced. Submissions were received from both sides. In accordance with Section 79(1) of the Employment Equality Acts and as part of my investigation I proceeded to a hearing on November 3rd 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 respondent operates a special needs service in Co Wicklow where the complainant is employed as a relief care worker. On occasion he is required to ‘sleep over’ at one of the cottages where service users stay.

2.2. On July 7th he was told that he would be moving from his then location to another, with a different attendance requirement which he could not fulfil because of his college commitments.

2.3. The reason given, and this was not disputed was a requirement that for the future all sleepover staff in the facility would have to be female to cater for the needs of a female service user.


3.1. Following the communication that he was to be moved the complainant had a number of meetings with management of the centre. In particular MY repeated that sleepover staff would have to be female in the future to take...

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