Judgment No. 3614
1. The EPO shall pay the complainant 200 euros in moral damages.
2. The EPO shall also pay the complainant 200 euros in costs.
3. All other claims are dismissed.
The complainant challenges the decision not to allow her to benefit from the transitional measure accompanying the replacement of the former invalidity pension with an invalidity allowance.
complaint allowed; receivability of the complaint; invalidity; late appeal; plenary judgment; en banc review
"The fundamental rationale for enabling an official to rely on payslips as establishing a cause of action is to provide a mechanism whereby a particular decision underpinning the payment or non-payment of a benefit can be challenged and often in circumstances where the official might have no standing to otherwise challenge that decision. A common example arises when an official challenges, by reference to a payslip, the lawfulness of a decision of the defendant organization’s governing body which has, when implemented, an adverse effect on the official.
In contrast, the rationale for time limits is to ensure that, while an aggrieved official has an opportunity to challenge decisions that adversely impact on her or him, the time frame within which such a challenge can be made is not open ended. The reason for limiting the time frame is to ensure that legal certainty is created, in due course, between both an individual staff member and staff more generally and the organisation employing them. Certainty, in this context, can be of particular significance to an organisation in relation to, amongst other things, budgeting and staffing. The time limit is intended to create a fair balance between the interests of officials and the interests of international organisations employing them."
internal appeal; payslip
"The final subsidiary argument concerns the principle of estoppel. This argument is apparently based on the fact that the EPO, in the internal appeal, initially accepted that the internal appeal was in part admissible but subsequently changed its position and argued that it was inadmissible in its entirety. [...] As the EPO argues in its reply, an element of the principle is that a person has acted to their detriment by relying on some statement or representation of fact made by another. While the EPO did seemingly change its position, there is nothing to suggest that this led to the complainant acting to her detriment. She had an opportunity to respond to the final position of the EPO though she was unsuccessful in her arguments. Again this argument is rejected. In any event, it was open to the IAC to address the question of the receivability of the appeal in its entirety irrespective of the position adopted by the EPO."