The Three Burdens of Proof in an Equality Case*

By October 5, 2021Employment Law

The Three Burdens of Proof in an Equality Case*

This arose in a case of a cargo agent and an airline ADJ-00019998. In this case the Adjudication Officer dealt with the issue of the burden of proof and quoted the case of Hallinan -v- Moyvalley Resources DEC-S2008 – 25 which was a complaint taken under the Equal Status Act where the Equality Officer in that case stated that the following must be established

  1. The complainant must establish that he or she is covered by the protected grounds
  2. Establish which specific treatment has allegedly taken place
  3. That the treatment was less favourable that was or would be afforded to a person not covered by the relevant discriminatory ground

The Adjudication Officer pointed out that in the case of Graham Anthony & Co. Limited -v- Mary Margretts EDA038 it was held that mere membership of a protected class and specific treatment

“Is insufficient of itself to ground a complaint of discrimination. An additional element is required. The complainant must adduce other facts for which it may be inferred on the balance of probabilities that an act of discrimination has occurred”

The Adjudication Officer also pointed out that in a case of Dyflin Publications Limited -v- Ivana Spafic EDA823 the Labour Court stated

“The Court should consider the primary facts which are relied upon by the complainant in a proper context. It also indicates that considering the burden of proof shifts the Court should consider any evidence adduced by the respondent to show that, when viewed in the proper context, the facts relied upon do not support the inference contended by the complainant.”

*Before acting or refraining from acting on anything in this guide, legal advice should be sought from a solicitor.

*In contentious cases a solicitor may not charge fees or expenses as a proportion or percentage of any award or settlement.

Richard Grogan

Author Richard Grogan

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