Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 4th 2015 Contents Q: Mrs Seebaran-Suite, it was with some
irony I read the headline on page 11 of a
recent Guardian which stated, "Equal
Opportunity Commission on sex discrimination;
more men complaining." Are we men losing our
cojones... not in the physical sense?
A: (Stifling a smile) I don t think so at all,
Clevon. Not at all, not at all.
Isn t it unusual that between 2008 and the present
day, 270 complaints were received from women
and 530 from men, when it s usually the other way
No. It is true the majority of the complaints are
from men but it is not to say that they are complaining
on the basis of sex; that is not the implication to
draw from that because under the...
By and large, under this mechanism (EOC), men
are complaining about discrimination in the workplace
on the basis of race, or ethnicity, so that s where you
have the bulk of complaints being received by the
What area has the EOC been receiving the most
Ah, let me see (quickly browsing through the EOC s
latest report at her Woodford Street, Port-of-Spain,
office Saturday morning).
The headings under which we received complaints
are discrimination on the basis of race or ethnicity,
religion, sex, disability, geographical origin or marital
status, the largest of which is race or ethnicity.
Can you give an example of discrimination on
the basis of race on the job?
The EOC is handling a grievance from a retiring
vice-principal who says he should be appointed prin-
cipal based on his seniority, but a teacher of another
ethnicity has been given the post, which he is claiming
would affect his terminal benefits.
Would the commission deal with a matter like
this solely on the question of seniority or academic
Well, both. The question of promoting someone
is a multi-factor exercise, so the Teaching Service
Commission would have their protocols and practices.
After we have satisfied ourselves that the complaint
falls within our remit we would call the employer to
come in to our conciliation process.
If the commission is found guilty as it were...?
Well our function is, at the end of the day, a con-
ciliation function. So all we can do is ask the employer
to sit around the table with us, as we cannot compel
them to reach a decision. If one is not reached we
then refer the matter to the Equal Opportunity Tri-
bunal, a complementary organisation which is actually
a court established under our legislation.
You took this office less than four months ago,
but I am certain you must have heard over the years
complaints about persons being denied job oppor-
tunities because of their home address.
Yes, we do have complaints on the basis of geo-
graphical origin. We have a large client base in Tobago
and it is the region from which we receive the most
In Tobago, as with all other regions, the largest
number of reports deal with employment and there
you find, for example, many complaints against the
Tobago House of Assembly.
What is the basic nature of these complaints?
That they discriminate against employing people,
perhaps because they are not from Tobago...from
Trinidad, or somewhere else, and that is the reason
they are not employed.
And just anecdotally, the sense that I get is that
most of these complaints are about employment or
promotion, or opportunities for training.
Well our function is at the
end of the day a conciliation
function. So all we can do is
ask the employer to sit
around the table with us, as
we cannot compel them to
reach a decision. If one is not
reached we then refer the
matter to the Equal
organisation which is
actually a court established
under our legislation.
www.guardian.co.tt SUNDAY, JANUARY 4, 2015
with Clevon Raphael
CONTINUES ON PAGE A9
EOC wants more power
Allegations of political discrimination in the awarding of state contracts are to be
placed under the remit of the Equal Opportunities Commission.
This, according to the newly appointed EOC chair, attorney-at-law Lynette
Seebaran-Suite, who feels although we have lived well in a plural society things
could degenerate if this diversity were not properly handled.
Efforts will also be made to ensure people with HIV/Aids are offered protection.
EOC chair Lynette
The public is hereby
proposes to apply to
(EMA) for a Variation in
accordance with the
Noise Pollution Control
Rules 2001 for the
The date: Friday
20th February, 2015
The public is invited to
submit comments within
5 working days of the
publication of this notice
to the EMA. 0103019
A WELL ESTABLISHED,
classy & sophisticated
in Duncan Village,
For further details
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