A woman who said she was discriminated against by a shop employee has been awarded €2,000 after a hearing at the Workplace Relations Commission.
The woman claimed that she suffered the homophobic abuse when she visited a shop where a family member was working. She reported that another staff member began hurling abuse at her, asking had she “nothing better to do” and also threatened to go outside and fight her. The woman said that she tried to ignore the aggressive employee, but claims that the employee then told her “you’re only a lesbian” as she walked away.
A submission to the Workplace Relations Commission on behalf of the shop stated that one of the store’s managers spoke to the employee in question about the altercation, who said that she did not remember using the homophobic slur against the woman.
The submission also claimed that the two women involved in the altercation knew each other and that they were accustomed to friendly banter.
The Workplace Relations Commission adjudicator pointed out that there were a number of witnesses to the incident, including a shop assistant from the shop opposite the one in question, who claimed that the woman who made the complaint did indeed suffer the abuse reported.
The adjudicator said, “I find that the complained-of words were spoken by the store employee.”
The adjudicator then found that the comments made by the shop employee were in breach of the Equal Status Act, 2000 and that the shop in question was liable for the homophobic slur made by their employee.
“I award the complainant €2,000 as redress for the discrimination she suffered,” the adjudicator added.
Earlier this year, a lesbian employee was awarded €8,000 in a similar case after suffering six months of homophobic abuse by a fellow employee of an Irish retailer, where he told her that the origin of homosexuality was child abuse.
© 2018 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.
During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.
GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.