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Judgment No. 4108

Decision

1. The Director-General’s decision of 3 June 2016 is set aside, save with regard to the award to the complainant of a sum of 2,500 Swiss francs by way of compensation for the delay in the proceedings before the Joint Advisory Appeals Board.
2. The ILO shall pay the complainant the total amount of 16,000 Swiss francs in moral damages.

Summary

The complainant, a former official of the ILO, alleges that she was subjected to harassment and that the investigation into her allegations of harassment was flawed.

Judgment keywords

Keywords

harassment; institutional harassment

Consideration 1

Extract:

According to the Tribunal, the question as to whether harassment has occurred must be determined in the light of a thorough examination of all the objective circumstances surrounding the events complained of (see, for example, Judgments 4038, consideration 5, and 3871, consideration 12). Since in this instance some of the facts on which the harassment allegations are founded differ from one complaint to another, the Tribunal will not join the cases.

Reference(s)

Jugement(s) TAOIT: 3871, 4038

Keywords

joinder; harassment

Consideration 3

Extract:

The parties do not dispute that the complainant had requested that the colleagues who had also filed a harassment grievance be heard as witnesses, which was refused. [...] In this case, the refusal, without valid grounds, to hear witnesses with regard to the complainant’s allegations constitutes a breach of due process.

Keywords

testimony; inquiry; adversarial proceedings; due process; harassment

Consideration 4

Extract:

[S]ince some of the statements gathered by the investigator were neither recorded nor summarized as such in the investigation report or the annexes thereto, the complainant was unable to respond to them in the comments that she was invited to submit to HRD concerning the report. Nor was she able to verify whether the investigator, in her report, had correctly interpreted the statements of which no minutes were taken. According to the Tribunal’s case law, a complainant must have the opportunity to see the statements gathered in order to challenge or rectify them, if necessary by furnishing evidence (see Judgments 3065, consideration 8, and 3617, consideration 12). This did not occur in this case with regard to the unrecorded statements.
The Tribunal therefore considers that, in these circumstances, the adversarial principle was disregarded.

Reference(s)

Jugement(s) TAOIT: 3065, 3617

Keywords

evidence; testimony; inquiry; adversarial proceedings; due process; duty to inform; procedural flaw; right to be heard

Consideration 7

Extract:

[A] long series of examples of mismanagement and omissions that compromises the dignity and career objectives of a complainant can constitute institutional harassment (see Judgments 3315, consideration 22, and 3250, consideration 9). However, the only elements which can be said to constitute harassment are those for which there is no reasonable explanation (see Judgments 4038, consideration 18, 3447, consideration 9, and 2524, consideration 25).

Reference(s)

Jugement(s) TAOIT: 2524, 3250, 3315, 3447, 4038

Keywords

institutional harassment

Consideration 8

Extract:

Where the investigation into a harassment complaint is found to be flawed, the Tribunal in principle remits the matter to the organization concerned so that a new investigation can be conducted. However, in this case, in view of the considerable delay occasioned by HRD and the JAAB, the Tribunal considers it appropriate not to remit the matter to the ILO.
Since the complainant was denied the right to have her harassment grievance duly investigated, the Tribunal considers it fair to redress the moral injury so caused by ordering the Organization to pay her 15,000 Swiss francs in compensation.

Keywords

moral injury; inquiry; flaw; harassment; moral damages

Consideration 9

Extract:

[I]n view of the circumstances of the case, a period of nine months between the submission of the conclusions of the investigation and the notification of the decision of HRD is excessive. Harassment cases must be treated as quickly and efficiently as possible, in order to protect staff members from unnecessary suffering, but attention must also be paid to thoroughness and procedure (see Judgment 3447, consideration 7).

Reference(s)

Jugement(s) TAOIT: 3447

Keywords

delay; inquiry; harassment

Consideration 10

Extract:

As to the proceedings before the JAAB, they were also seriously delayed. Whereas the grievance was filed on 21 August 2014, the JAAB’s report was issued on 1 April 2016. Both the JAAB and the ILO have admitted this delay, which the Director-General agreed, in the impugned decision, to compensate in the amount of 2,500 Swiss francs.

Keywords

moral damages; delay in internal procedure



 
Dernière mise à jour: 04.04.2019 ^ haut