Words: Steve Brown
A man who was called a ‘f****t’ and suffered ongoing homophobic abuse at work has been awarded €27,000 in compensation.
While at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC), the man – who worked as a scheduler for an installation provider - said a co-worker told another work that he was a ‘f****t’ and went on to say he ‘better not side beside him, or I’ll catch the gayness from him’.
The complainant went on to say that the comments were aimed at him on a day-to-day basis and said there was constant sniggering and made him feel under threat and humiliated, the Irish Examiner reported.
He went on to say the co-worker and a team leader repeatedly laughed to his face and constantly made disparaging remarks about him and his partner.
The man told the WRC that he was in constant fear and worry at work and said the environment was the most hostile he has ever worked in.
He claimed he was ridiculed for his sexual orientation and said his mental health was suffering incredibly and was treated with depression and panic attacks.
WRC Adjudication Officer, James Kelly, found the evidence to be ‘very credible’ and that the victim was being discriminated against by the employer on the grounds of his sexual orientation.
Kelly stated that the €27,000 award – which is to be paid by the employer – is the equivalent of 18 months gross pay for the sustained distress suffered by the victim.