William Morris v Iarnrod Eireann Irish Rail ADJ-00027184 is an interesting recent decision from the Workplace Relations Commission (“WRC”) which examined whether an employer’s decision not to hire someone with a disability was justified on the basis of its medical policy in the context of a safety critical role.
Facts: The Complainant applied for two roles with the Respondent railway organisation. These roles were locomotive driver and Revenue Protection Officer (“RPO”). The Complainant was unsuccessful in both applications and lodged two complaints with the WRC under the Employment Equality Acts 1998-2015 (the “Acts”).
The Complainant provided a detailed submission to the WRC giving background to the claims. He submitted that he was diagnosed with depression and Generalised Anxiety Disorder in 2007. He did not have any severe symptoms such as anxiety attacks, but his Consultant Psychiatrist recommended that he remain on medication. In 2017 he was discharged from his Consultant into the care of his GP. In December 2019 he applied for the locomotive driver position with the Respondent and successfully completed all the tests for the position, including the driver safety test. He was invited to an interview on 14th February 2020. He was required to undergo a medical examination with the Respondent’s medical advisers, and he disclosed that he was on medication for anxiety.
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Anne O’Connell Solicitors
Labour and Employment