Bouncer awarded €20,000 over loss of work after racial abuse

Ioan Florin Rusu said hotelier alleged to him: ‘All Romanians are thieves and liars’

  Workplace Relations Commission adjudication officer Orla Jones said she was satisfied doorman Ioan Florin Rusu was harassed on the ground of his race and that Senture Security  failed to take any action on foot of his complaint. File photograph: iStockPhoto

Workplace Relations Commission adjudication officer Orla Jones said she was satisfied doorman Ioan Florin Rusu was harassed on the ground of his race and that Senture Security failed to take any action on foot of his complaint. File photograph: iStockPhoto

 

A bouncer who claimed he was racially harassed by a Dublin hotelier who said all Romanians were “thieves and liars” has been awarded €20,000 in a discrimination case.

Ioan Florin Rusu told the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) that he was working on the door of a city centre pub attached to a hotel when the incident occurred.

He said the businessman told him: “All Romanians are thieves and liars. Romanian policemen are robbing bags and phones in [the hotel bar]”.

The hotelier, only referred to as Mr A in the case, then told Mr Rusu to go home. He said Mr A was often abusive and “giving out” to people when he was “drunk”.

Mr Rusu was employed by a private security firm, Senture Security Limited, which had been engaged by Mr A. When he reported what Mr A had said to him to his supervisor, he was told to go home and to contact him the following day.

Told not to return

Prior to the incident, Mr Rusu had been working 45 hours a week with Senture Security. However, when he contacted his employer the following day, he was told not to return to work at Mr A’s business and that he would be sent elsewhere.

Mr Rusu phoned the company on a number of occasions but said he was not given any work for the next month and received no pay after the the incident on June 26th, 2015. He eventually requested his P45 as he had to find other work.

He secured reduced working hours with another security firm but was only earning €200 and eventually decided to go back to Romania, where he now lives, as he could not afford to remain in the State.

Mr Rusu took a discriminatory dismissal case against Senture Security, which did not deny that Mr Rusu was harassed by Mr A and did not deny the alleged statements made by the hotelier to him. The firm said that once notified of the harassment, it took immediate steps to protect Mr Rusu.

Senture Security told the hearing that Mr A was often under the influence of alcohol on the premises in question, and a witness for the firm told the hearing that Mr A was drunk most evenings.

Satisfied of harassment

Adjudication officer Orla Jones said she was satisfied Mr Rusu was harassed on the ground of his race and that Senture Security had failed to take any action on foot of his complaint of harassment.

Ms Jones said she was satisfied from the evidence provided that Senture Security would not have treated an Irish employee in the same way. Its failure to contact Mr Rusu or to provide him with any information about alternative work following his complaint amounted to less favourable treatment on the ground of race.

She said the constructive dismissal was inextricably linked to his complaint of harassment and to his race and that Mr Rusu had established facts from which it may be inferred that the events surrounding his dismissal amount to discrimination on the basis of his race.