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Dublin: 10 °C Monday 21 October, 2019
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Woman awarded €2k in discrimination case after shop worker told her 'you are only a lesbian'

The woman claimed the employee also asked her to come outside to fight.

File photo
File photo
Image: Shutterstock/NaiyanaB

A WOMAN WHO claimed she was discriminated against by a shop employee has been awarded €2,000 following a hearing before the Workplace Relations Commission.

She said that when she visited a shop where a family member of hers worked, another staff member at the store began to be aggressive and abusive towards her.

It was claimed that the employee asked her “have you nothing better to be doing?” and also asked if she would come outside to fight, or do so later when the workday was finished.

She said she tried to ignore what was happening and, as the employee was moving away, she claims she was told “you are only a lesbian”. 

In a submission on behalf of the shop, it said that a manager had spoken to the worker in question, and she said she did not recall using the discriminatory words as alleged. 

It also said the woman making the complaint and the employee knew one another and were accustomed to having banter. 

The WRC adjudicator, however, noted that there were a number of witnesses to the incident, including a shop assistant from a store opposite the one in question who gave evidence supporting the complainant.

“I find that the complained-of words were spoken by the store employee,” the adjudicator said.

It was found that the comments were in breach of the Equal Status Act, 2000, and that the shop was vicariously liable for the actions of their employee.

The adjudicator added: “I award the complainant €2,000 as redress for the discrimination she suffered.”

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Sean Murray

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