Before you make a complaint under the Employment Equality Acts
The information on this website can help you decide if you have grounds for making a complaint under the Employment Equality Acts (EEA). You may want to look for information from your employer, or if your complaint is about a recruitment process, the employer or company that you applied to. This applies even if the person you think discriminated against you was a workmate or a customer. The employer is still responsible in these cases.
For example, you may want to ask for details of pay scales, or for figures about the gender or nationality of employees. You do not have to look for more information from your employer if you do not want to.
Your employer does not have to give you confidential information. In fact, they do not have to reply at all. But if they do not, and you do make a complaint under the EEA, the person investigating your claim (an adjudication officer) may view this very seriously.
There are strict time limits for making a complaint to the Workplace Relations Commission.
You must make your complaint to the Workplace Relations Commission no more than six months after the last act of discrimination. The Workplace Relations Commission can extend this to 12 months if you can show that there were “exceptional circumstances”, such as severe illness, that prevented you from making a complaint within the six month period.
The time limit for equal pay complaints is six years, however, not six months.
Other useful information
It is the Workplace Relations Commission which looks into claims under the EEA.
Usually people make a complaint themselves. In the case of a young person or a person with an intellectual impairment or mental health difficulty, a parent or guardian can make a complaint on their behalf.
If you have a complaint of discrimination on the gender ground (one of the nine grounds) you can chose to have your complaint heard by the Circuit Court instead of going directly to the Workplace Relations Commission.
Your employer cannot threaten you, treated you badly or sack you because you make a complaint about discrimination in the workplace. This is victimisation. It is illegal under the EEA.