A gay man has received €27,000 after he was called anti-gay slurs at the workplace.
According to the Irish Times, one Irish man, whose identity has been withheld, began working as a scheduler for an installation provider in September of 2017. Unfortunately, he was then harassed by co-workers for being openly gay. The man then filed a claim with Ireland’s Workplace Relations Commission to report the multiple years of discrimination.
According to the claim, the man dealt with several homophobic comments made in his direction. This included a moment when a co-worker told another that he “is a f****t” and added, “I better not sit beside him, or I’ll catch the gayness from him.” The man also says he was repeatedly laughed at by co-workers and ridiculed for his relationship on social media.
Because of this constant barrage of insults and ridicule, the man told WRC that his mental health plummeted over the past few years. The constant fear and negative outlook got so bad that he was diagnosed with depression and was hospitalized for a panic attack. Despite the team leader intervening on his behalf, the man says the Operations Manager’s investigation into the harassment led to more conflict. Specifically, he was told by the manager “not to be wasting her time.”
After reporting the situation to the WRC, Adjudication Officer James Kelly confirmed the claims as “very credible,” according to GCN. The complaints were also corroborated by a female colleague. According to Kelly, the ongoing harassment by coworkers “had the purpose and effect of violating [the victim’s] dignity.”
“It has, without doubt, created an intense, hostile, humiliating and offensive environment for him in the workplace,” added Kelly. “It had a great burden on his physical and mental health where he was hospitalized.”
Again, the plaintiff has been award €27,000 on the grounds of harassment and discrimination based on sexuality. This decision was made by Kelly in alignment with Ireland’s Employment Equality Act. That amount, which was ordered to be paid by the employer, was given based on 18 months gross pay.