Tesco Arthur’s Quay Limerick – One to Avoid Unless You Like Being Videoed and Laughed at on Facebook

A very strange story appeared in the Sunday World about employees of a Tesco supermarket in Limerick  secretly photographing customers and ridiculing them on Facebook.  According to the report, which is a little confusing, they made a video of a vulnerable transgendered man with mental health problems and published this footage with disparaging comments about him.

tesco arthurs quay limerick 001


The screenshot is hard to read, so let me transcribe.

Employee’s initial comment is this: What’s the deal around Limerick city this fella was bold as brass —

Random Commenter: From what [deleted] doesd be sayin, the seem to be cumin in to see you haha (smiley)

Employee: That’s the Butch Spanish thing fucked that  yolk (sic) out of it.

Random Commenter: Creepshow!  is that the one with the massive sticky outy bushy eyebrows?

Employee : Mad for [deleted] this one.

Random Commenter : No. He / she asks her beauty tips [deleted] sorry too funny.

Random Commenter : Hahhaha [deleted] your a gas man U no that. Ha.

Commenter: ahh lads I feel sorry for him. he told me his family used to slang him.

I think the paper got certain facts wrong.   The man is probably a cross-dresser rather than transgendered, but it hardly makes any difference.  The whole point is that if this happened, it was a clear assault on a person’s right to personal dignity.

Tesco’s reaction was rather limp, I thought.  Apparently, they’ve launched a probe, which is something you’d normally associate with NASA, but this is probably just tabloid-speak.  I presume Tesco said they’d investigate, or words to that effect.

Tesco and the alleged perpetrators would need to be clear on this: taking a person’s picture is perfectly legal but publishing it without that person’s permission is not.  Publishing mocking comments associated with that picture is very likely to be defamatory.

If the reports are true, and I suspect that the Sunday World is confident of its facts, it leaves Tesco open to a major claim, even if, as Denning might have said, the perpetrator was on a frolic of his own.  It also leaves Tesco open to prosecution under equality law, because this appears to be a clear case of somebody being oppressed for his sexual orientation.

Will Tesco want to take that risk?

More significantly, will any of us want to visit the Tesco shop at Arthur’s Quay, knowing that a staff member might secretly be taking pictures of us to post on Facebook later?

I’ll be avoiding Tesco for the foreseeable future, until I know for sure.

How about you?

22 thoughts on “Tesco Arthur’s Quay Limerick – One to Avoid Unless You Like Being Videoed and Laughed at on Facebook

  1. Hardly tescos fault. The guy is obviously a dick, regardless of whether he works for tescos, super quinn, shaws (almost nationwide), pennys, or any other reputable retail outlet. Its not like you expect tescos to strip search their staff for mobile phones before a shift??? He’s obviously the sort of guy you would wonder has he washed his hands before re-aranging the savoy lettuce.

  2. As profit is the be-all-and-end-all for Tesco, any probe will be directed at assessing any downturn associated with that fb tale, and should they decide to act following their probe, the enforcement of a ban on staff having access to their mobile phones during working hours may be taken as the logical solution to restore profit percentage.

  3. Kevin there is such a thing called vicarious liability. Employers are liable for the actions of their employees while the employee is at work and / or acting on behalf of their employer. So if an employee breaks the law in the course of their daily duties Company X is liable, if they break the law on their own time Company X is not liable.

    Nor sue if the aggrieved would have a case under equality law. That law lists gender and sexual orientation among the 9 grounds for discrimination. I don’t see how the person being ridiculed was discriminated against on either ground. How is it a clear case of discrimination on sexual orientation?

  4. Backtowork how is it discrimination?

    To discriminate surely one must be prevented from doing something, refused something, treated unfairly in comparison to others in the same situation.
    I am not a solicitor.

    Invasion of privacy maybe.

  5. I reckon that No. 8 fella above would be a terror for the prosecution, that he’d get you put away for not paying you TV licence, like.

    “M’lud, I put it to you that zee refusal of the defendant to pay his TV licence is an unambiguous
    indication that he intends to embark on a life of crime and general delinquency, forthwith.

    Moreover, I put it to M’lud that this type of ambivalence to the laws of the realm, will, if allowed go unchecked, lead to the complete disintegration of irish society and western civilisation in general, going forward.”

    “Ten years. No parole. Take him down.”

    Elsewhere, on the subject of vicarious liability, I was speaking to a scobe just out of the Joy recently.

    “What were you in jail for, scum bag?”

    “Beak gave me three months for robbin’ and six for the auld vicarious.”

    “Vicarious liability?”

    “Yeah, it’s all the rage these days, like.”

  6. is having your picture plastered on the internet with disparaging comments based on your lifestyle choice not being treated unfairly

    dont have to be a solicitor to figure that one out

  7. But No.8, backtowork asked you, not Bernard. You are the one that suggested that the person in the photo was not treated unfairly – They were stuck up on the internet for all and sundry to slag them off, obviously because of their lifestyle, but to you that’s perfectly acceptable. You write some marvellous brainshit on a near daily basis I find.

  8. If you think I write marvellous bullshit on a near daily basis why do you continue to read it? Too much time on your hands?
    Can you show me where I said that I find it perfectly acceptable for people to be slagged off? I opined that it was not discrimination as defined in the equality acts.
    If you’re going to criticise my marvellous bullshit at least learn to read it accurately.

  9. I think it constitutes sexual harassment under Section 11(2) of the consolidated Acts.

    A person (‘‘the responsible person’’) who is responsible for the operation of any place that is an educational establishment or at which goods, services or accommodation facilities are offered to the public shall not permit another person who has a right to be present in or to avail himself or herself of any facilities, goods or services provided at that place, to suffer sexual harassment or harassment at that place.

  10. (b) Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (a), such unwanted conduct may consist of acts, requests, spoken words, gestures or the production, display or circulation of written words, pictures or other material.

  11. It may well be sexual harassment, totally different to discrimination.

    Have there been any successful prosecutions in Irish law for sexual harassment in a non employment scenario?

  12. Bock, no way would tescos be liable for any of this. The guy probably uploaded the image when his shift was over, its not like tescos can police the activities of their staff after their shif is over. Dont get me wrong, the guy is pretty thick for portraying his fellow human beings in such a bad light, but I just dont see how tescos can be held responsible.

  13. Heres a true story,

    I came home from work one day, and me mum had given me a shopping list

    ‘go on down there to tescos son and get a few things for me’

    As usual, my own life seemed more important than my mums

    ‘jesus i could do without this’ i said to myself, but anyway I went to tescos to get the stufff..

    first on the list was …. ‘I cant believe its not butter’, but me mum had crossed it out, i went to the chilleed dairy cabinet anyway.
    second on the list was… ‘buterlicious’, but this was also crossed out.
    third on the list was….’uterly buterly’, but this was crossed out also, my mum was quite old and forgetful, 83, but I loved here.
    fourth on the list was…’tescos finest butter’… but this too was crossed out. I was going mad at this stage.
    fifth on the list was ‘tescos chianti’… not crossed out
    sixth on the list was… ‘ I cant believe its not butter”

    I returned home with ‘I cant beliieve its not butter’ and a bottle of red wine, totaly frazzled, i am convinced my mum did it on purpose.

    a true story

  14. Ha! maybe the ‘confrontational’ one(s) need some IET – after all it does get the “issues out of your tissues” for good!”

    More seriously, I think your right re the Tesco thing Bock :sexual harassment. There may also be a case in that it appears others have had similar experiences in the same store (http://www.gcn.ie/LGBT_Group_Challenge_Tesco_Over_Transphobic_Abuse_By_Employee).

    That would imply that either there isn’t a company harassment policy, or that it isn’t being enforced. At a minimum Tesco need to take action, and they’ve probably sacked the guy to cover themselves.

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