Judgment No. 2145
1. THE IMPUGNED DECISION IS SET ASIDE.
2. THE EPO IS ORDERED TO PAY THE COMPLAINANT THE EMOLUMENTS TO WHICH SHE WAS ENTITLED UNDER ARTICLE 62(7) FOR THE PERIOD FROM 1 JUNE TO 18 AUGUST 1999, TOGETHER WITH INTEREST AT 8 PER CENT PER ANNUM.
3. IT SHALL PAY HER 2,000 EUROS IN COSTS.
"In the Organisation's view, since the payments it was making to the complainant were entirely voluntary, a matter of grace and favour on its part, it was quite at liberty to suspend such payments when the complainant failed to fulfil her obligation to submit to the [...] medical examination [required by the Invalidity Committee]. [It] is wrong. The Invalidity Committee's report [...] was categorical in stating that the complainant must be regarded as not fit for work. That means that she was unable to perform her duties and at a minimum she was entitled to receive the emoluments provided for in Article 62(7) unless and until the Invalidity Committee made a further finding putting an end to her sick leave, extending it, or placing her on permanent disability. But, without the authorisation of the Invalidity Committee, the [Organisation] had no right by its own unilateral action to suspend the payments to which she was entitled by law. [...] There can be no doubt that the [complainant] has a clear obligation to assist the Invalidity Committee and to present herself as and when reasonably required to do so for examination or treatment. If she fails to do so, that might constitute grounds for the Invalidity Committee to declare her sick leave at an end or it might form the basis of disciplinary action. [However, the Organisation] cannot take the law into its own hands without regard for the complainant's rights or its own obligations under the Service Regulations. [...] The highhanded actions of the [Organisation] in cutting the complainant's payments are both unjustified and illegal. The impugned decision must be rescinded."
Organization rules reference: ARTICLE 62 (7) OF THE SERVICE REGULATIONS
organisation's duties; staff regulations and rules; medical board; medical examination; sick leave; pension entitlements; disability benefit; incapacity; medical fitness; invalidity; staff member's duties; disciplinary procedure; payment; refusal; right