Lithuanian worker fired for reporting abuse

Worker awarded €34,000 by Employment Equality Tribunal

A shop worker who was racially abused by a customer and sacked by her

employer after she complained has been awarded €34,000 by the Employment Equality Tribunal.

Kristina Kukstaite won her case against Shedan Ltd, a company that runs the Supermac’s fast food restaurant franchise in Ballindine, Co Mayo, together with a Costcutter grocery shop in an adjoining filling station.

In May 2010, Ms Kukstaite, originally from Lithuania, served a woman in the shop who said to her: "F**king Polish, why are they working here they don't understand English."



The next month, the same customer came into the shop again and became aggressive

towards Mr Kukstaite.

Ms Kukstaite made a note of the customer’s car registration and complained to gardaí. A garda contacted the woman and reported back to Ms Kukstaite that she had denied the incident.

The next day, Ms Kukstaite’s employer who “seemed annoyed that she had gone to the gardaí”, fired her.

The tribunal equality officer, Marian Duffy, found in favour of Ms Kukstaite.

Peter Murtagh

Peter Murtagh

Peter Murtagh is a contributor to The Irish Times