A Romanian bouncer who was racially harassed by a Dublin hotelier and publican when told that all Romanians “are thieves and liars” has been awarded €20,000 in a discrimination case.
Ioan Florin Rusu was working on the door as a bouncer for a Dublin city centre pub attached to a hotel when berated by the owner of the business.
In evidence before the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC), Mr Rusu said the hotelier told him on June 26 2015: “All Romanians are thieves and liars. Romanian policemen are robbing bags and phones in B [the Hotel bar].”
The hotelier, referred to as Mr A, then told Mr Rusu to go home.
Mr Rusu was not directly employed by Mr A but worked for private security firm, Senture Security Limited employed by Mr A. When he reported what Mr A said to him to his supervisor, he was told to go home and to contact him the next day.
Prior to the incident, Mr Rusu had been working 45 hours per week with Senture Security. However, when he contacted the company the following day, he was told not to return to work at Mr A’s business and that he would be sent to other locations.
However, Mr Rusu phoned Senture Security on a number of occasions but he was not given any work.
Mr Rusu received no work from the company for the next month and no pay after the date of the incident.
He eventually requested his P45 from the security firm because he had to find other work.
Mr Rusu was taking a discriminatory dismissal case against Senture Security.
In response, Senture Security told the WRC that it did not deny that Mr Rusu was harassed by Mr A and did not deny the alleged statements made by Mr A to Mr Rusu. The firm said that once notified of the harassment, it took steps immediate to protect Mr Rusu.
Mr Rusu said the incident on June 26, 2015, was not the first time Mr A had been abusive towards security staff and had on another occasion told another security guard to go home and had called him a “a donkey”.
Mr Rusu said Mr A was often abusive and “giving out” to people when he was “drunk”.
Mr Rusu got alternative work with a different security firm but was only earning €200 a week on reduced hours and eventually had to go back to Romania where he now resides as he could not afford to remain here.
He told the hearing that he had travelled back from Romania for the hearing of his case.
Adjudication officer Orla Jones said Mr Rusu presented as a credible witness and gave his evidence in a clear manner.
In her ruling, she said she was satisfied that Mr Rusu was harassed on the grounds of his race and that Senture Security failed to take any action on foot of his complaint of harassment.
Ms Jones said she was satisfied from the totality of the evidence adduced that Senture Security would not have treated an Irish employee in the same way and that its failure to contact Mr Rusu or to provide him with any information in respect of alternative work locations following his complaint of harassment amounted to less favourable treatment on the grounds of race.
She said Mr Rusu’s constructive dismissal was inextricably linked to his complaint of harassment and to his race. She said that he was racially harassed by the hotelier.
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