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Discrimination in the Workplace

Lavelle Partners have the necessary experience and expertise to provide specialist legal advice on employment Equality, Discrimination & Equal Status matters for employees. Contact us in confidence on (01) 644 5800.

No person should ever be the victim of workplace discrimination in Ireland. Unfortunately, many employees each year are discriminated against on the grounds of characteristics which are protected under law. If you have been affected by discrimination of any type in the workplace, Lavelle Partners have the experience and legal expertise to defend your rights. As an equal opportunities’ employer ourselves, we take especially seriously any case of discrimination or inequality within the workplace. As such, our team will work tirelessly to ensure the party/s responsible for your discrimination, or those who failed to protect you from discriminatory behaviour, are brought to account.

What are the protected characteristics in Ireland?

There are 9 protected characteristics on which employers have a legal duty to ensure workers are not discriminated on the grounds of:

  1. Age.
  2. Civil status: includes single, married, separated, divorced, widowed people, civil partners and former civil partners.
  3. Disability: includes people with physical, intellectual, learning, cognitive or emotional disabilities and a range of medical conditions.
  4. Family status: this refers to the parent of a person under 18 years or the resident primary carer or parent of a person with a disability.
  5. Gender: this means man, woman or transsexual.
  6. Membership of the Traveller community.
  7. Race: includes race, skin colour, nationality or ethnic origin.
  8. Religion: means religious belief, background, outlook or none.
  9. Sexual orientation: includes gay, lesbian, bisexual and heterosexual.

What is meant by discrimination?

The Employment Equality Acts 1998 -2015 provide that any situation in which an employee is treated less favourably due to one of the above 9 protected characteristics will be deemed discriminatory.  For example, if it can be proven you were overlooked for promotion, not offered a pay rise, prevented from having time off, or any other action by your employer on the grounds of gender, disability, age, or any other characteristic, the law may have been breached.

What is the law covering equality in Ireland?

Within Ireland, the Employment Equity Acts and Equal Status Acts 2000-2015 (‘the Acts’) exist to protect employees against discrimination and uphold equal rights.  This is overseen by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission and the Workplace Relations Commission.

Irish equality legislation also imposes specific requirements on employers in relation to:

  • Equal pay – employers are legally obliged to provide equal pay for work that is the same, similar, or of equal value. 
  • Disability – employers have a duty to ensure equal access to employment, promotion and training, and to make reasonable provisions for those with a disability.
  • Harassment – employers have a duty to prevent harassment or bullying which is discriminatory
  • Pregnancy – employers must, under law, not allow an individual who is pregnant to be treated unfairly in regard to recruitment, promotion, and terms of employment.
  • Victimisation – if you bring a claim against your employer for discrimination, they are prevented, under legislation, from penalising you or treating you unfairly or unfavourably.

How Lavelle Partners can assist you in relation to employment equality, discrimination & equal status matters.

  • For over 30 years, our team of employment law Solicitors, headed by Senior Partner, Marc Fitzgibbon, have been supporting and assisting victims of discrimination and unequal treatment in the workplace.  Over that time, we have developed an enviable reputation for providing legal excellence and empathetic support for our valued clients.
  • Marc is a former member of the Law Society of Ireland’s Employment & Equality Law Committee and the European Employment Lawyers Association.
  • We understand the emotional impact of uncertainty in relation to discrimination and unequal treatment and will handle your case with the utmost empathy and determination to defend your rights. 
  • From the first moment you speak to one of our workplace discrimination Solicitors, we will listen to your case carefully and with the greatest of empathy.  Furthermore, we understand that discrimination matters need to be managed with the utmost confidentiality.

Our partnership with Talbot Pierce

Lavelle Partners work with Talbot Pierce to provide a seamless service in respect of Human Resource Management.  Talbot Pierce are a team of specialist HR professionals who work with us on a range of matters including advice on and delivery of conflict/dispute resolution solutions, best-practice HR strategies, policies and procedures.

For further information on workplace discrimination in Ireland, please contact Lavelle Partners in confidence on (01) 644 5800*.

*Please note that fees apply to all consultations. 

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