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Labour Court Finds Aer Lingus Requirement to Wear High Heels Discriminatory

posted 8 months ago

Aer Lingus v. Elizabeth Barry EDA2331 was an appeal to the Labour Court (the “Court”) by the Complainant against a Workplace Relations Commission (“WRC”) decision which found that her discrimination complaint was not well founded. The Complainant was a cabin crew manager with Aer Lingus. She complained that a number of elements of the uniform issued to female employees in 2020 discriminated against her on the grounds of gender.

Facts: In February 2020, the Respondent issued a new uniform to its cabin crew. The Complainant argued that the uniform issued to female employees was less practical and comfortable than the uniform issued to male employees and portrayed an “outdated” image of women.

The Complainant lodged her discrimination complaint with the WRC on 28th October 2020 and the cognisable period for the purpose of the Employment Equality Acts was therefore 29th April 2020 to 28th October 2020. It was agreed by the parties that the Complainant was working and wearing the uniform in question during that period. The comparator was a male crew member.

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