Significant award in Victimisation Case

An award totalling £40,000 has been made against Dublin Corporation in a victimisation case supported by the Equality Authority. An employee of Dublin Corporation who had successfully proven discrimination against the Corporation in relation to a promotional position was found to have been victimised as a result of her previous case, and has been awarded £20,000 for distress suffered before 18 October 1999 (when the latest equality legislation came into being) and a further £20,000 for distress suffered since that date.

The victimisation involved in this case included not being spoken to by her manager from September 1997 to October 2000, exclusion by her colleagues even at social activities, and an internal investigation which proved to be unfair to the complainant. “Victimisation has the potential to undermine our equality legislation. Fear of victimisation is a barrier to people excercising their rights under the legislation. It is crucial therefore that victimisation on foot of making a complaint under the legislation is challenged” said Equality Authority CEO Niall Crowley.

“A key protection in employment legislation is that people who seek to establish their rights to non-discriminatory treatment are not subsequently penalised in the workplace”, he added.

“The Office of the Director of Equality Investigations (ODEI) has sent a clear and expensive signal to employers who lose an equality case that they can not “re-try the case” in the workplace. Anyone victimised because they take an equality case, whether it is successful or not, must be reassured that they can continue to work and not be subject to unfair treatment as the person we represented was, by Dublin Corporation. The success of this case and the level of the award provides this assurance.” he concluded.