Most Read Contributor in Hong Kong, September 2016
The Hong Kong District Court case of Dean Alexander Aslett
v. Lane Crawford (DCEO 3/2013, 26 November 2013) held that in
relation to proceedings instituted in the Labour Tribunal and
transferred to the District Court, in determining whether or not a
discrimination claim is time-barred under section 80(1) of the Race
Discrimination Ordinance (RDO), time will run from the date when
proceedings are first instituted in the Labour Tribunal
notwithstanding any subsequent directions being given by the
District Court for issuance of a fresh writ.
The Plaintiff was employed as a personal shopper by the
Defendant. The Plaintiff claimed that he was constructively
dismissed by the Defendant as a result of the Defendant's
ill-treatment of him including that he had been discriminated
against on the grounds of his race.
As the Plaintiff's claim involved race discrimination, the
Presiding Officer of the Labour Tribunal ordered a transfer of
proceedings to the District Court.
The Defendant sought to strike out the Plaintiff's Statement
of Claim on the following grounds that:
The claim was time barred under section 80(1) of the RDO (i.e.,
the claim fell outside the period of 24 months from the alleged
The Plaintiff's claim was frivolous and vexatious and had
no chance of success on the merits; and
The Plaintiff had suffered no loss or damage.
The District Court held that the claim was not time-barred but
struck out the claim on the basis of the other two grounds.
The alleged discriminatory acts complained of occurred
throughout the Plaintiff's employment from 2 August 2010 to 4
December 2010. Although a fresh writ was issued in the District
Court on 15 March 2013, the court held that the Plaintiff had
instituted the proceedings at the Labour Tribunal as early as on 31
October 2012. Therefore, the 24-month limitation period under
s.80(1) of the RDO had not expired and the Plaintiff's claim
under the RDO was not time-barred.
For the purpose of determining whether a discrimination claim is
time-barred under RDO s.80, SDO s.86, DDO s.82 and FSDO s.64 (the
24-month limitation period), the date of institution of the
proceedings in the Labour Tribunal shall be taken as the date of
institution of the proceedings notwithstanding any subsequent
directions being given by the District Court for issuance of a
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