Staff at Chief State Solicitor’s Office reported overhearing racist and homophobic remarks as well as “talking down” of inner city communities in Dublin

A staff survey carried out at the chief state solicitor’s office found that some employees had overheard racist and homophobic comments from fellow workers, as well as “talking down of inner [city] Dublin communities”.

The survey from the Chief State Solicitor’s Office (CSSO) also flagged concerns from some staff about an “us versus them” split between people working in the legal and administrative sides of the office.

Asked whether the CSSO did not tolerate bullying, harassment, or any form of discrimination in the workplace, 14 per cent of the people working there said they could not agree with that statement.

Employees were also questioned about what a new equality, diversity, and inclusion team within their organisation should focus on.

As a result, concerns were raised by some staff about recent “gender equality in the office as regards men” and the need for more social inclusion in the legal profession.

CSSO employees also said there should be zero tolerance for certain language and behaviours – for example, around racism, and derogatory comments about inner city communities.

The Chief State Solicitor’s Office had originally refused to release a copy of the survey under Freedom of Information laws; however, they were later directed to do so by the Information Commissioner.

You can read the decision from this case here.