Gay man awarded thousands after being forced to endure ‘f****ts, fairies and Grindr’ slurs from born again Christian colleague
A gay man in Ireland has been awarded €8,000 in damages after a born again Christian colleague made a Grindr joke at work.
In his complaint, the man claimed his colleague said a local gay bar was full of “fairies and f*****s” when it was suggested as a location for a team get together.
He also claimed that she regularly said “don’t catch anything” on Friday evenings, a comment which he believed referenced his sexual orientation and sexual health.
The born again Christian colleague allegedly said: ‘If we need him, we will find him on Grindr.’
On November 15, 2018, the man was dismissed from his job and told to clear out his desk and hand over company property before leaving. He was “unable to decipher a reason for this approach.”
He claimed that, when he was preparing to leave the office, his born again Christian colleague declared: “If we need him, we will find him on Grindr.”
He also said there were religious images in the office which he found “offensive” due to anti-LGBT+ attitudes within the Christian faith.
On the balance of probability, I find that the complainant experienced the commentary he reflected in his evidence.
The recruiter’s born again Christian colleague insisted in her evidence to the WRC that she was “not there to judge” and said she was “not ashamed to be Christian”.
She also claimed she had “no issues regarding homosexuality” and said “all sexual sin was sin in biblical terms”.
The former employee claimed that he experienced discriminatory dismissal from his job, however the WRC adjudication officer did not agree with this.
But adjudicator Patsy Doyle did agree that he had experienced sexual harassment in the workplace.
The adjudicator agreed that the gay man experienced ‘sexual harassment’ in the workplace.
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In her ruling, Doyle said the complainant had “a profound recollection” of the alleged homophobic comments, and noted that the workplace was “unusually tolerant of banter, conversations on the complainant’s personal life and mobility around the office”.
“On the balance of probability, I find that the complainant experienced the commentary he reflected in his evidence,” Doyle wrote in her ruling.
The adjudicator agreed that he had tried to raise the comments with his employer but said they “got lost in the primacy of his performance shortfalls”.
She said the complainant was “very vulnerable” and noted that his employer “turned a blind eye” to psychiatric medication he displayed on a meeting room table.
However, she also rejected the former recruiter’s claims that the workplace had “a strong religious ethos” which “frowned on homosexuality”.
In her decision, Doyle instructed the employer to pay the complainant €8,000 and said they must train staff and management on harassment issues.