Commission assists employee with claim of victimisation following sexual harassment complaint

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (“the Commission”) has provided legal assistance to a woman who referred a complaint of victimisation against a former employer to the Workplace Relations Commission (“WRC”).

The woman alleged that, following a complaint of sexual harassment she made against the director of her former employer, the institution stopped engaging her in a freelance capacity, ending more than two decades of employment. By the time the matter was listed for hearing before the WRC, it had been over four years since her complaint of sexual harassment, and the institution had not engaged her in that time.

Following negotiations between the parties, the woman agreed to settle the claim against her former employer on terms favourable to her.

The woman said:

“Freelance workers have few rights against employers and I was at a loss as to how to respond to the adverse treatment I received. I am extremely fortunate that IHREC agreed to take on my case and acted on my behalf always with great kindness towards me personally and with great diligence on my behalf. I would encourage anyone in a similar situation to contact them.”

Director of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Deirdre Malone said:

“People have the right to make a lawful complaint without being victimized for doing so. Cases like these prove that there are remedies for people who speak out about sexual harassment and suffer negative consequences as a result. I hope this woman’s example will encourage others to speak up, knowing that there will be someone there to listen.”



For further information, please contact:

Sarah Clarkin, IHREC Communications Manager,

01 8592641 / 087 4687760

Follow us on twitter @_IHREC

Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission is an independent public body, appointed by the President and directly accountable to the Oireachtas. The Commission has a statutory remit set out under the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act (2014) to protect and promote human rights and equality in Ireland, and build a culture of respect for human rights, equality and intercultural understanding in the State.

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission is Ireland’s national human rights institution and is recognised as such by the United Nations. The Commission is also Ireland’s national equality body for the purpose of a range of EU anti-discrimination measures.