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Equality Tribunal

Chinese pub worker gets €10,000 payout for sex and race discrimination

Hours and pay were cut “without warning” because the woman was the only non-Irish worker, tribunal told.

A CHINESE PUB worker has been given a €10,000 payout after complaining her hours and pay were slashed because she was a woman and the only non-Irish staff member.

Ying Yung Sun Summer claimed she was unfairly discriminated against on the ground of her race and gender while working for Dawn Taverns Ltd, trading as McGrath’s Pub.

She sued her former employer in the Equality Tribunal because her hours of work and rate of pay were slashed “without warning” before she was sacked when other, male Irish workers were kept on at the venue.

Ying said she had been working part-time at the pub for nearly 10 years until January 2011, but in mid-2010 her pay was “suddenly, without explanation” cut from €15 per hour to only €10.

She complained that she had only found out about the change when the lower rate appeared on her payslip and when she questioned her boss about it she was told: “That’s all I can pay you”.

The tribunal heard she was the only staff member whose wages were cut at the time.

No explanation

Ying said her hours were also reduced “without explanation” and by the end of December she had stopped being given shifts altogether.

She told the tribunal she had tried calling her employers several times about the problem and she was eventually informed there was “no more work for her at the moment”.

Ying said she had been the only woman working at the pub except for the owners’ relatives and family friends, and she was the only non-Irish staff member.

Other workers were eventually asked to take a 10% pay cut in early 2011, subject to a six-month review.

In her decision, equality officer Orla Jones said it was clear the pub was in a position where it had to cut wages but it was unclear why only the Chinese woman’s pay had been cut eight months earlier.

She said she was satisfied Ying had been discriminated against because of her race and gender and that a €10,000 payout from the business, which didn’t defend the claim at the tribunal hearing, was “just and equitable”.

READ: Receptionist wins €63k for victimisation and reduced hours after maternity leave >

READ: It will soon be illegal to discriminate against gay teachers >

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