Nine Categories of Discrimination to be Aware of in the Workplace

| David O’Riordan

Employers should be cognisant of the nine categories of discrimination protected under the Employment Equality Acts 1998-2015. These are:

  • Gender
  • Civil Status
  • Family Status
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Religion
  • Age
  • Disability
  • Race
  • Membership of the Travelling Community

Company’s should ensure written policies are in place to protect employees against discrimination and to inform employees that discrimination, in any form, will not be tolerated by the company.

Examples of discrimination can include the implementation of a compulsory retirement age, gender pay gaps, and failure to reasonable accommodate an individual suffering with a disability.

 

Case Study

We recently acted for an employer defending a claim for discrimination on the basis of family status. The employee in question claimed that they had been selected for redundancy on the basis of having a young family, alleging discriminatory dismissal. The employer successfully defended the claim by evidencing a number of other employees with young families that remained employed, proving that the employee’s family status had not been a factor in their selection for redundancy.

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