Now that the shops, Cafes and restaurants are all opening up soon…

An Irish-Thai girl ordered a drink in a Dublin café.   The employee asked her for her name but,  instead of putting the customer’s name on the cup, the employee drew on the cup ‘slanty’ eyes . The customer took her case to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) for racial discrimination. The Adjudication Officer said that it is not disputed that café employee drew an image of a smile and ‘slanty’ eyes on the cup as a way of marking it as belonging to the customer.

The case was considered  under the Equal Status Act for racial harassment. The Adjudication Officer found the applicant has Thai-Irish heritage and it is clear that the visual depiction on the cup related to her race. The café was ordered to pay €12,000 in compensation.

This case shows how important it is for retail owners to train their staff  properly in dealing with customers. It appears from this case the employee often drew on cups to identify customers but did so in a non-racial way, purely to identify the customer and nobody complained. But in this case, the drawing of the slanty eyes offended the customer and was  therefore deemed to be racial discrimination.