Judgment No. 1363
THE COMPLAINTS ARE DISMISSED.
"Even if disciplinary proceedings have begun there can be no 'act adversely affecting' an employee within the meaning of Article 107 [of the Service Regulations] until the proceedings are over and there is a final decision by the competent authority. So the complainant's internal appeals were premature insofar as he lodged them before the President had taken his decision [...] on the Disciplinary Committee's report."
Organization rules reference: ARTICLE 107 OF THE EPO SERVICE REGULATIONS
procedure; absence of final decision; receivability of the complaint; cause of action; advisory body; internal appeal; report; staff regulations and rules; disciplinary procedure; executive head
Considerations 24 to 26
The complainant submits that while on leave without pay he was free to earn money without being bound by any professional obligations as an employee of the EPO. "The plea fails. An official who is granted leave for any reason remains bound by all professional obligations but one - for that is what leave means - the performance of duties [...] so the complainant must be judged on his behaviour throughout the period of his employment in the organisation, no diminution whatever of his obligations being admissible while he was on leave."
amendment to the rules; unpaid leave; staff member's duties; organisation's interest
The complainant alleges that the charges against him of misconduct and his subsequent dismissal were mistaken. On the evidence "the Tribunal is satisfied that the complainant was in breach of his professional obligations throughout the period of his service at the EPO in that without leave he had set up and was running a consultancy firm under cover of his main professional activity. Such professional misconduct was compounded by the coincidence between the area of the firm's business and the EPO's own area of competence and by his offering or actually providing services to his customers that were connected with his official duties at the EPO."
continuing breach; termination; misconduct; serious misconduct; staff member's duties; conduct; outside activity; disciplinary measure; organisation's interest
The complainant was charged with serious misconduct and dismissed. He alleges that the EPO imposed a penalty that was too severe and disproportionate in order to get back at him for his staff union work. "There is not a shred of evidence to support the charge of 'union-bashing' he levels against the EPO. What prompted the disciplinary proceedings was his pursuit of private business for his own enrichment and in abuse of his position as an official."
proportionality; breach; staff member's duties; outside activity; disciplinary measure; disciplinary procedure; staff union activity; bias
The complainant was charged with serious misconduct and dismissed. He regards the penalty he received as disproportionately severe in that, among other things, the organisation reduced his severance grant. "The EPO was fully justified in getting rid of an employee whose doings were a constant challenge to its authority and deeply disruptive of the public service and in using its power under [...] the Service Regulations to impose on him the further penalty of making the maximum allowable reduction in severance grant."
amount; staff regulations and rules; breach; terminal entitlements; termination; staff member's duties; organisation's interest