Judgment No. 3080
1. The decision of the Director-General of WHO of 13 July 2009, the decision of the Director of the Human Resources Management Department of 6 February 2007 and the decision of the Director of the Regional Office for South-East Asia of 23 January 2008 are set aside.
2. The case is remitted to WHO for an examination of the complainant's rights in accordance with considerations 23 and 24 of this judgment.
3. The Organization shall pay the complainant moral damages in the amount of 15,000 United States dollars.
4. It shall also pay him 3,000 dollars in costs.
5. All other claims are dismissed.
"[T]he case law of the Tribunal establishes that when the term "spouse" is used in an organisation's staff rules or regulations without being otherwise defined therein, it is not limited to individuals within a marriage but may also cover persons in other forms of union (see in particular Judgments 2760, under 4, and 2860, under 9). Thus, in several recent judgments concerning cases where the applicable provisions were couched in similar language, the Tribunal held that the organisations concerned had to recognise same-sex marriages (see Judgment 2590 or Judgment 2760 [...]) or unions in the form of registered partnerships when the relevant national law made it possible to consider persons in such unions as "spouses" (see Judgments 2549 and 2550, and Judgment 2860 [...])."
ILOAT Judgment(s): 2549, 2550, 2590, 2760, 2860
complaint allowed; complaint allowed in part; marital status; applicable law; domestic law; staff regulations and rules; no provision; definition; same-sex marriage
"[A] passing reference to "husband" or "wife" in the Staff Rules is not sufficient to warrant interpreting all the relevant provisions thereof as denying same-sex spouses the entitlements concerned (see Judgment 2590 [...], under 6)."
ILOAT Judgment(s): 2590
complaint allowed; complaint allowed in part; marital status; staff regulations and rules; interpretation; provision; social benefit; insurance benefit; same-sex marriage
Considerations 19 & 20
"According to the Tribunal's case law, when an organisation is ordered to grant a financial benefit to a staff member who fulfilled the legal requirements for claiming it, but who failed to do so as soon as his/her entitlement arose, the benefit in question is due only as from the date of the initial claim by the person concerned, and not the date on which he/she became entitled to the benefit ([...] see Judgment 2550, under 6, or Judgment 2860, under 22). There would be no justification for ordering an organisation unexpectedly to pay potentially large, backdated, aggregated sums for benefits which had not been claimed by the staff member concerned when he or she should have done so. [...] [Moreover] it is true that the position would be different if the Organization itself were responsible for the fact that the [staff member] did not submit a claim [at that time]."
ILOAT Judgment(s): 2550, 2860
complaint allowed; complaint allowed in part; liability; marital status; organisation; delay; exception; judgment of the tribunal; amount; non-retroactivity; insurance benefit; staff member's duties; condition; date; payment; request by a party
"[T]he rule laid down in Article VII, paragraph 1, of the Statute of the Tribunal that internal means of redress must first be exhausted does not apply to a claim for compensation for moral injury, which constitutes a claim for consequential relief which the Tribunal has the power to grant in all circumstances (see Judgment 2609, under 10, or Judgment 2779, under 7)."
ILOAT reference: Article VII, paragraph 1, of the Statute
ILOAT Judgment(s): 2609, 2779
moral injury; receivability of the complaint; internal remedies exhausted; iloat statute; request by a party