- Posted by Olivia Hande
- On August 8, 2016
- Employment, Equality, Labour Court
Issues: Complaint not out of time, Equality Officer erred
This was an appeal of an Equality Officer Decision that the complaint was out of time. The original Decision, DEC-E2015-076, is remarkable in its confusion as to the relevant dates. Due to this confusion a tentative understanding of the Equality Officer’s conclusion is that the phone calls on 28 and 30 November 2012 between the complainant and her employer were reiterations of what the occupational health physician had concluded on 9 November 2012, that the complainant was permanently unfit for manual handling duties. Apparently no alternative duties were available for the complainant and this may have been previously put to the complainant following previous assessments although insufficient information is available. There is no mention of a contemporaneous consideration of accommodation possible at the relevant time.
The Labour Court, in a relatively short Decision, stated:
The Court finds that the gravamen of the Complainant’s case is that the most recent alleged act of discrimination on the Respondent’s part took place on the 30thNovember 2012 and that she submitted a complaint to the Tribunal on 17 December 2012 some few weeks later. On that basis the Court finds that the complaint is in time and is not statute barred. In so deciding the Court has not considered and has made no decision on the merits of the complaint which is properly a matter for investigation and decision by the Workplace Relations Commission.
The Court allowed the appeal, set aside the Equality Officer’s Decision and remitted the case back to the WRC for investigation and Decision.
The interesting substantive allegations being made by the complainant appear to be that she was not provided with an accommodation (presumably some form of reasonable accommodation) to enable her return to work because of her race (colour) when others of a different race (colour) were accommodated.