Case Number: DEC-S2016-017. Workplace Relations Commission

CourtWorkplace Relations Commission
Judgment Date01 March 2016
Docket NumberDEC-S2016-017
PartiesDwayne Keogh V Dara MacCarthy
Equal Status Acts DECISION NO: DEC-S2016-017 Dwayne Keogh V Dara MacCarthy File No. ES/2013/0057 Date of Issue: 9 March 2016

Keywords Equal Status Acts – Discrimination – Gender, Marital Status , Family (now Civil) Status, Age, Race-

1 Delegation under the Equal Status Acts

1.1 The complainant referred his claim against the respondent under the Equal Status Acts on 5 June 2013. On 12 March 2015 in accordance with his powers under section 75 of the Employment Equality Acts, the Director then 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 III of the Equal Status Acts, on which date the investigation under section 25 commenced. Written submissions were received from both sides and I proceeded to a hearing on 22 April 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. Complainant’s Submission

2.1 The complainant submits that on 5 April 2013 (a Friday) he viewed a basement apartment which was separate from the main house, with his mother. The respondent was the landlord. During the viewing the complainant’s mother said that the complainant was a separated man. At the end of the viewing the complainant said he would take the property for rental and it was agreed that he would drop off the deposit etc the following Tuesday.

2.2 The following Tuesday (9 April) the complainant went back to the property with his mother and handed over the deposit and one month’s rent. During this meeting the respondent said the complainant was taking the property as a ‘Private Room Rental’ which was not subject to the PRTB.

2.3 The complainant submits that between 10 to 18 April he moved in gradually. Then on the weekend of 19 – 21 April his twin boys (14 years of age) stayed with him. He submits they stay with him every other weekend. They slept in the sitting room. On the Monday morning the respondent rang the complainant to ask who were those young guys with you over the weekend. The complainant explained who they were and where they were sleeping. The complainant submits the respondent said he was not planning a family rental. The complainant explained he was separated and his sons stayed with him every other weekend. The complainant rang the respondent back and asked why he said “young guys” as he thought this comment indicated the respondent thought his children were not his as they were a different colour. He told the landlord the children were coloured because their mother is black Kenyan. The respondent said he wasn’t expecting a family to move in.

2.4 The complainant submits the respondent rang back and said the situation was not going to work for him. He said he had a daughter and he would be worried about young boys hanging around. The respondent submits this is discriminatory towards his sons, because of their colour. The respondent said he would give all the money back and give the complainant time to move out. He moved out on 23 April 2013.

2.5 The complainant submits he was treated badly for being a separated man and his children because of their colour. He considers this discrimination on the following grounds:

· Race: because of his children’s skin colour,

· Gender: because his children were unacceptable as they were male,

· Age: his children were 14 and they were viewed as dangerous teenagers,

· Marital Status: because he is a separated man, and

· Family Status: because he is a parent of children under 18.

3. Respondent’s Submission

3.1 The respondent submits that the Complainant obtained the flat by not disclosing a relevant fact; that he is a parent of 2 teenage boys. Also, he assumed they could sleep on the floor. The respondent lives with his 12 year old daughter ½ time.


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