Case Number: DEC-S2012-008- Full Case Report. Equality Tribunal

Docket NumberDEC-S2012-008- Full Case Report
Date28 February 2012
CourtEquality Tribunal
The Equality Tribunal

Equal Status Acts, 2000 to 2008

Equality Officer Decision



Mr Mahieddine Baziz


Noonan Services Group
(represented Mr John Barry,
Management Support Services (Irl) Ltd)

File Ref: ES/2010/069 Date of Issue: 28 Feb 2012

Keywords: Equal Status Acts 2000-2008 - Section 3(2)(h), race ground -prima facie case - discrimination, harassment.

Delegation under the Equal Status Acts, 2000 to 2011

This complaint was referred to the Director of the Equality Tribunal on 5 December 2008 under the Equal Status Acts, 2000-2008. In accordance with his powers under Section 75 of the Employment Equality Act, 1998 and under the Equal Status Acts, 2000-2008, the Director delegated the complaint to me, Elaine Cassidy, an Equality Officer, for investigation, hearing and decision and for the exercise of other relevant functions of the Director under Part III of the Equal Status Acts, 2000-2008. On 2 August 2011 my investigation commenced. As required by Section 25(1) and as part of my investigation, an oral hearing was held on 6 December 2011 and both parties were in attendance.

1. Dispute

This dispute concerns a claim by the complainant, Mr Baziz that he was discriminated against and harassed by the respondent on the grounds of race in terms of Sections 3(2)(h) of the Equal Status Acts, 2000-2008 by being asked to leave a shopping centre.

2. Summary of the Complainant's Case

2.1 The complainant alleged that he was discriminated against and harassed because he is Algerian. The complainant was a regular user of the Jervis St Shopping Centre; however between October 2009 and May 2010 he submits that he was made to feel unwelcome there. There was a particular security guard who appeared to be following him and watching him all the time. On 11th May, the complainant asked to speak to the Site Manager to report what had been happening. The security guard in question did not wear an identity badge, so the complainant could not identify him specifically, but he described him. He had a good talk with the Site Manager, who promised to investigate and report back to him. A week later the Site Manager called him and said that his staff told him nothing had happened and that they never had a problem with the complainant.

2.2 On 25th May 2010, the complainant was leaving the Shopping Centre when he was approached by a different security guard, who made a threatening gesture towards him.
The complainant asked him why he made this gesture and the guard asked him if he had a problem. The complainant was afraid the guard was going to hit him and he found the incident intimidating. The Security Supervisor arrived on the scene and the complainant explained what had happened and emphasized that he had done nothing wrong. The Supervisor contacted the Site Manager and after this call, he asked the complainant to leave the centre and never come back. The complainant insisted that the Gardai were called and when they arrived he explained that he was being bullied by Security. The Garda sided with the security staff and advised him to walk away.

2.3 On 27th May the complainant spoke to the Site Manager again and was told that he was barred.
The complainant followed up with a letter of complaint to the Head of Security at the respondent company, but he did not receive any response to the letter or to his calls.

3. Summary of the Respondent's Case Witness for the Respondent - Site Manager

3.1 The Site Manager met the complainant in May 2010, when the complainant informed him that he had been "assaulted" the previous day. The witness took a detailed statement from the complainant and promised to investigate. He also assured the complainant that he did not think there was a racism involved - as a non-national himself, he believed that the company treated everyone equally. Based on the description the complainant gave, the Site Manager was able to identify the security guard in question, but he had not been working on the day the complainant complained of. The witness spoke to him and all the other officers also, but was unable to find anything to support the complainant's claim. The witness met the complainant a week later to advise him of this...

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