Alastair Purdy successfully defends complaint of discrimination for Harvey Norman

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Alastair Purdy successfully argued that “lazy eye” does not constitute a disability for the purposes of the Employment Equality Acts 1998-2018.

Here the Respondent was subject a complaint of discrimination pursuant to the Employment Equality Acts 1998-2018. The Complainant argued that he was discriminated by virtue of his “lazy eye” when allegedly a number of employees made remarks regarding his condition.

As a preliminary matter and as part of our firms submission, we contended that the condition of “lazy eye” did not meet the definition of “disability” under Section 2 of the Employment Equality Acts.

In her finding, adjudicator, Niamh O’Carroll Kelly B.L., upon citing a variety of authorities, found in favour of the preliminary point – citing the following:

“The complainant had a turn in his left eye. No evidence was adduced that his eyesight or use of the eye was in any away effected or reduced as a result of the turn in the eye. It had no consequences whatsoever in relation to his ability to carry out his role. On that basis I find that a turn in one’s eye or a lazy eye does not meet the low threshold for a disability under the Act.”

 

Link:

Roger Sargent v Harvey Norman trading ( Ire) Limited

 

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