There are 9 grounds of discrimination recognised in Irish law:
- Civil status
- Family status
- Sexual orientation
- Race (includes race, colour, nationality or ethnic or national origins)
- Membership of the travelling community.
If your claim to the WRC cannot be based on one of these grounds you may have been treated unfairly or harshly or rudely or appallingly badly, but you have not been discriminated against.
If you have a discrimination based claim it may be one of the following:
- You have been discriminated against by an employer, potential employer, employment agency, or other body
- You have not received equal pay because of one or more of the 9 grounds (if your equal pay complaint cannot be based on a discriminatory ground you have no claim for discrimination as there is nothing unlawful about paying a different rate of pay for the same work)
- The Pensions Act, 1980 prohibits discrimination in respect of occupational pensions-you may not have been allowed to join an occupational pension of have been treated less favourably
- An employment agreement contains a provision which is discriminatory, contrary to sections 8 and 9 of the Employment Equality Act, 1998
- The Equal Status Acts 2000-2008 allows a discriminatory claim to be brought against a person or company who supplies goods or services or facilities.
Claims from a to d above are commenced by filling out a form, EE2, which you send to the person who you claim has discriminated against you. They reply on form EE3. If they don’t reply inferences can be drawn from this.
Once you have received their response you can then decide whether to bring a claim to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) under the Employment Equality acts.
A complaint under the Equal Status acts requires form ES1 to be filled out within 2 months of the discriminatory treatment.