The Labour Court recently rejected a claim for alleged harassment and victimisation on the grounds of race.
An employee took a claim for discrimination following the termination of his employment. He claimed that he was subjected to harassment on the grounds of his Polish nationality when he was called “Fritzl” by a fellow employee on a number of occasions.
The Labour Court noted that a Dignity at Work Policy was in place which specified that all forms of harassment were unacceptable. The policy was implemented and had been communicated to staff.
The Labour Court was satisfied that a full investigation was carried out following the incident and the offending employee was given a warning that no form of discrimination would be tolerated under any circumstances. Following this investigation, the employer received no further complaints of this nature from the employee taking the claim.
The Labour Court was therefore satisfied that the employer had taken all reasonable steps to prevent harassment in the workplace and as a result, rejected the claim.
This case highlights the importance for employers of having proper bullying and harassment procedures in place and ensuring that they are properly implemented and communicated to staff.