€24k for worker ‘forced to retire’ at 66

A worker who claimed he was forced to retire from a Co Donegal-owned seafood company at age 66 has been awarded €24,000 in compensation by the Equality Tribunal.

The issues raised in the case taken by Richard Lett against Earagail Éisc Teoranta also included a claim that he was forced to work part-time before that retirement, according to details published by the tribunal today.

Mr Lett’s case was brought on age grounds under the Employment Equality Acts against the company, which trades as Errigal Seafood and has facilities in Donegal and in Kilmore Quay, Co Wexford.

The tribunal said the €24,000 award was in compensation for his discriminatory dismissal and for his treatment in respect of reducing his hours from a five-day week to a three-day week.

“This award is in compensation for the distress experienced by the complainant... and is not in the nature of pay, and therefore not subject to tax,” the decision said.

A €20,000 compensation award was decided by the tribunal in favour of Beata Nowakowska in her case against Noel Recruitment (Ireland) Ltd and Rottapharm Ltd, for the effects of unlawful discriminatory treatment. She brought a complaint in relation to her conditions of employment on the grounds of gender, by reason of her pregnancy.

The Equality Tribunal has also published today its decision in the successful case for gender discrimination brought by Micheline Sheehy-Skeffington against NUI Galway. Details emerged last month of the €70,000 award made to her after she complained that she had been overlooked for promotion each time she applied between 1990 and 2009.

NUIG had contested the case but said after the decision that it would not be appealing, and would take immediate steps to implement the findings. The tribunal criticised the university for a “ramshackle” interview process for promotions.

It has since emerged that the college is appealing an Equality Tribunal decision last May, in which another female academic was awarded €81,000 compensation after taking a case claiming discrimination on grounds of gender and disability.

Also published on the Equality Tribunal website today is last month’s €9,000 compensation award for distress suffered by an employee of Tesco Ireland Ltd. The complaint was on the grounds of discriminatory treatment, discriminatory dismissal, and victimisation relating to disability.

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