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Respect for dignity (205, 206,-666)

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Keywords: Respect for dignity
Total judgments found: 115

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  • Judgment 2839


    107th Session, 2009
    World Health Organization
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR

    Consideration 15

    Extract:

    "While a decision to reassign a staff member may be based on multiple factors, it is evident [...] that «capacity strengthening» was not the real reason for the reassignment. [M]isinforming the complainant of the reason for the reassignment reflects a disregard for her dignity."

    Keywords:

    assignment; duty to inform; duty to substantiate decision; organisation's duties; reassignment; respect for dignity; staff member's interest;

    Consideration 19

    Extract:

    "[I]t cannot be said that the Organization engaged in any meaningful consultation with the complainant regarding her reassignment. Providing her with Terms of Reference for a post that she did not know was intended for her, arranging for a meeting with her proposed new Director without being informed of her planned transfer, and a meeting with the Regional Director when the decision had already been taken does not constitute proper consultation."

    Keywords:

    assignment; consultation; duty to inform; duty to substantiate decision; organisation's duties; reassignment; respect for dignity; staff member's interest; terms of appointment;

    Consideration 17

    Extract:

    "Upon being informed of the complainant's forthcoming marriage to the Director of her division, it was entirely proper for the Organization to consider whether the Staff Regulations and Staff Rules or its policy were engaged. It was equally proper to obtain advice on these matters. However, there was no need to canvas the views of some 40 staff members. [...] While properly structured consultations with staff through their association on matters of policy and regulations is appropriate, the canvassing of individual staff members in these circumstances was highly inappropriate and their individual views were irrelevant."

    Keywords:

    consultation; marital status; organisation's duties; respect for dignity; staff member's duties; staff member's interest; staff regulations and rules;

    Consideration 11

    Extract:

    "It is clear that in accordance with Staff Regulation 1.1 staff members are subject to the authority of the Director-General and to assignment by him or her to any of the activities or offices of the Organization. Further, under Staff Rule 565.2 a staff member may be reassigned at any time in the interest of the Organization. However, in the exercise of the discretion to reassign a staff member, the Organization must take into account the interests and dignity of the staff member, including the provision of work of the same level as that which was performed in the former post and matching the staff member's qualifications, and care must be taken not to cause undue injury to the staff member (see Judgments 2067, under 17, 2191, under 3, and 2229, under 3). Moreover, the staff member is entitled to be informed of the reasons for the reassignment. In addition to ensuring transparency in decision making, providing the reasons for the reassignment permits a staff member to assess the courses of action that may be taken, including the lodging of an appeal, and it also permits a review of the lawfulness of the decision on appeal (see Judgment 1757, under 5)."

    Reference(s)

    ILOAT Judgment(s): 1757, 2067, 2191, 2229

    Keywords:

    assignment; discretion; duty to inform; duty to substantiate decision; judicial review; organisation's duties; reassignment; respect for dignity; staff member's interest; transfer;

    Consideration 9

    Extract:

    "In her statement of appeal [...] the complainant specifically referred to and detailed the conduct that she alleged constituted a breach of the Organization's policy on harassment.
    Upon receipt of these allegations of harassment, the Headquarters Board of Appeal was obliged to refer that aspect of the appeal to the Grievance Panel. The fact that the complainant did not take issue with the Board's failure to make the referral until sometime later, did not absolve the latter of its obligation to make the referral and to hold the appeal in abeyance.
    The failure to make the mandatory referral constitutes an error of law for which the complainant is entitled to an award of moral damages. As the Director-General's decision was based on a fundamentally flawed process involving an error of law, it must be set aside."

    Keywords:

    internal appeal; internal appeals body; moral damages; organisation's duties; respect for dignity; staff member's duties; staff member's interest;

    Consideration 7

    Extract:

    "The Tribunal rejects the Organization's argument that the complainant should have pursued her harassment allegations by filing a formal complaint with the Grievance Panel. The Organization established the Grievance Panel to examine and make recommendations regarding formal complaints of harassment. It is clear from a reading of Information Note 36/2004 and Cluster Note 2001/13 that the Organization recognised that a harassment complaint could arise within the context of an appeal against an administrative decision or as a stand-alone complaint, and established separate mechanisms to have such complaints examined by the
    Grievance Panel."

    Keywords:

    internal appeal; internal appeals body; organisation's duties; respect for dignity; staff member's duties; staff member's interest;



  • Judgment 2819


    107th Session, 2009
    European Patent Organisation
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR

    Consideration 11

    Extract:

    "Although the complainant's dignity has been seriously injured, and consistently injured over a period of three and a half years, he has suffered no financial loss and his claims for compensation and for moral damages are excessive. [...] The complainant will be adequately compensated by an award of moral damages in the amount of 25,000 euros. There will be an award of costs of these proceedings and the internal appeal proceedings in the amount of 5,000 euros."

    Keywords:

    amount; complainant; costs; injury; lack of injury; material injury; moral damages; respect for dignity;

    Consideration 10

    Extract:

    "As the transfer decision did not respect the complainant's dignity, the Tribunal will order that the complainant be reassigned, within 28 days, to a post that satisfies the core requirement of a grade A6 post, namely, the running of a prominent organisational unit covering several specialised fields, and that the decision of 22 December 2005 be quashed with effect from the date of his reassignment to the new post."

    Keywords:

    compensatory measure; grade; order; post; respect for dignity; terms of appointment; transfer; working conditions;

    Consideration 8

    Extract:

    "It is well settled that a transfer decision, if of a nondisciplinary nature, «must show due regard, in both form and substance, for the dignity of the official concerned, particularly by providing him with work of the same level as that which he performed in his previous post and matching his qualifications» (see Judgment 2229, under 3(a)). Given that the new tasks of the complainant involve none of the tasks specified in the Service Regulations for a grade A6 post, it must be concluded that the transfer did not respect his dignity. There are two other matters that indicate a lack of respect for the complainant's dignity. First, there is the Vice- President's e-mail of 9 January 2006 that was transmitted to all other Principal Directors in his Directorate and that clearly impugned the complainant's ability to perform his functions as head of the Joint Cluster Computers. [...] There was no need to justify the decision to the complainant's peers and the e-mail could only lessen his standing in their eyes. The second matter is that the complainant was not provided with any staff - not even a secretary."

    Reference(s)

    ILOAT Judgment(s): 2229

    Keywords:

    grade; post; respect for dignity; same; status of complainant; terms of appointment; transfer; working conditions;



  • Judgment 2779


    106th Session, 2009
    International Telecommunication Union
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR

    Consideration 7

    Extract:

    "As the Tribunal has found, even though he was not competent to make the representation, Mr [...] made a promise to the complainant that his appointment would be extended beyond statutory retirement age. Mr R. also fostered the complainant's false belief that the promise would be honoured. Despite the complainant's numerous requests over a period of approximately 18 months clearly explaining his belief that a promise had been made, the Secretary-General chose to ignore the opportunities to correct the complainant's misapprehensions and permitted him to act on his mistaken belief. Lastly, the Secretary-General failed to make a decision on the complainant's request for an extension in a timely fashion. This conduct constitutes a breach of the duty to respect the complainant's dignity. At the very least, the Secretary-General should have notified the complainant that the Union did not accept the obligation when the matter was first brought to his attention. This conduct has caused the complainant moral injury for which he must be compensated in the form of moral damages."

    Keywords:

    compensation; complaint allowed; complaint allowed in part; decision-maker; duration of appointment; extension; good faith; injury; moral damages; moral injury; organisation's duties; promise; respect for dignity; retirement; staff member's interest;



  • Judgment 2771


    106th Session, 2009
    Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR

    Consideration 24

    Extract:

    "There is no evidence of improper motive or unequal treatment in the performance of what was a regular and routine management function. Accordingly, there is no basis for a finding of harassment (see Judgment 1732)."

    Reference(s)

    ILOAT Judgment(s): 1732

    Keywords:

    complaint allowed; complaint allowed in part; equal treatment; grounds; international civil servant; organisation's duties; respect for dignity;

    Consideration 15

    Extract:

    "The general requirement with respect to due process in relation to an investigation - that being the function performed by the Investigation Panel in this case - is as set out in Judgment 2475, namely, that the "investigation be conducted in a manner designed to ascertain all relevant facts without compromising the good name of the employee and that the employee be given an opportunity to test the evidence put against him or her and to answer the charge made". At least that is so where no procedure is prescribed. Where, as here, there is a prescribed procedure, that procedure must be observed. Additionally, it is necessary that there be a fair investigation, in the sense described in Judgment 2475, and that there be an opportunity to answer the evidence and the charges."

    Reference(s)

    ILOAT Judgment(s): 2475

    Keywords:

    adversarial proceedings; appraisal of evidence; complaint allowed; complaint allowed in part; disciplinary procedure; due process; evidence; inquiry; organisation's duties; procedure; respect for dignity; right to reply;



  • Judgment 2768


    106th Session, 2009
    European Patent Organisation
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR

    Considerations 4 and 5

    Extract:

    "The principle of good faith and the concomitant duty of care demand that international organisations treat their staff with due consideration in order to avoid causing them undue injury; an employer must consequently inform employees in advance of any action that may imperil their rights or harm their rightful interests (see Judgment 2116, under 5). This duty of care is greater in a rather opaque or particularly complex legal situation. [...] When the complainant took up employment with the Office it had been possible, for at least a year, to obtain the transfer of pension rights from the USS to the Office's pension scheme. But it is clear from the file that the applicable rules were so complex that a mere perusal of the documentation would not enable employees to understand them fully. Furthermore, the Administration and staff members were still largely unfamiliar with the possibility of transferring pension rights. In the light of these particular circumstances, the Office's duty to inform could not be confined to merely handing the applicable texts to the staff members concerned by a possible transfer. This duty demanded that the Office, having obtained such information as was necessary, should draw to the attention of the staff members concerned the possibility of obtaining a transfer of pension rights and should inform them of the procedure to be followed."

    Reference(s)

    ILOAT Judgment(s): 2116

    Keywords:

    complaint allowed; complaint allowed in part; duty of care; duty to inform; good faith; organisation's duties; participation; pension; pension entitlements; respect for dignity; staff member's interest; staff regulations and rules; transfer of pension rights;



  • Judgment 2766


    106th Session, 2009
    European Patent Organisation
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR

    Consideration 8

    Extract:

    "It is not so much that applicants have an absolute right to confidentiality, but rather a right to the reasonable protection of their privacy. The Tribunal finds that the participation of the staff representative, in an observer capacity and not taking part in the Selection Board's meetings, does not unreasonably affect the complainant's privacy."

    Keywords:

    competition; organisation's duties; respect for dignity; right; selection board; staff member's interest; staff representative; staff union;



  • Judgment 2751


    105th Session, 2008
    European Patent Organisation
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR

    Consideration 11

    Extract:

    The complainant represented three colleagues whose complaints to the Tribunal led to Judgment 2514. In its replies the Organisation had made defamatory statements on the complainant. "[T]he EPO [...] contends that the complaint is irreceivable to the extent of the claim for retraction of the defamatory statements. In this regard, it relies on Judgment 1635 where the Tribunal explained that it was not competent to order a written apology, as requested in that case. In Judgment 2720, also delivered this day, the Tribunal recognised, under 17, that publication of statements defamatory of a staff member by an international organisation gives rise to a continuous obligation to take steps to remedy, as far as possible, the harm done to the staff member's reputation. Moreover, the Tribunal held in that case that it could order performance of that obligation pursuant to Article VIII of its Statute. Accordingly, it is not correct to say that it is beyond the competence of the Tribunal to order the retraction of a defamatory statement."

    Reference(s)

    ILOAT reference: Article VIII of the Statute
    ILOAT Judgment(s): 1635, 2514, 2720

    Keywords:

    apology; competence of tribunal; defamation; iloat statute; moral injury; order; receivability of the complaint; respect for dignity; staff representative;

    Consideration 9

    Extract:

    "The intention with which a statement is made is not necessarily determinative of the question whether a statement that is wholly irrelevant is also one that can serve no proper purpose." The complainant represented three colleagues whose complaints were considered by the Tribunal in Judgment 2514. In its replies the Organisation had stated that, by reason of the time he had spent providing legal assistance to staff members, the complainant's work as an examiner had been less satisfactory than it should have been. "That was defamatory. It was also inconsistent with the duty of the EPO to respect the complainant's dignity. In the context of the other comments that were within the limits of the privilege that attaches to proceedings before the Tribunal, it carried the threat of possible administrative consequences for the complainant's employment. Such a remark can serve no proper purpose. Accordingly, it was not privileged and the complainant is entitled to seek relief with respect to it."

    Reference(s)

    ILOAT Judgment(s): 2514

    Keywords:

    breach; compensation; complaint allowed; complaint allowed in part; consequence; counsel; iloat; insurance benefit; intention of parties; organisation; organisation's duties; privileges and immunities; procedure; purpose; request by a party; respect for dignity; right; security of tenure; staff representative;

    Considerations 3 and 6

    Extract:

    "Statements made in legal proceedings are privileged, whether those statements are made in writing in the pleadings or orally in the course of a hearing. The consequence is that, even if defamatory, they cannot be the subject of legal proceedings or sanction. The privilege, sometimes referred to as 'in court privilege', exists, not for the benefit of the parties or their representatives, but because it is necessary for the proper determination of proceedings and the issues that arise in their course. In Judgment 1391 the Tribunal recognised that the privilege attaches to its proceedings, as well as those of internal appeal bodies. [...]
    [T]he Tribunal's consideration of the extent of the privilege that attaches to statements made in the course of internal appeal proceedings or proceedings before the Tribunal has concentrated on statements made by staff members. However, the privilege is the same in the case of statements made by or on behalf of defendant organisations, and they must be allowed a similar degree of freedom in what they say and the manner of its expression. Even so, a statement will constitute a perversion of a defendant organisation's right of reply if it is wholly irrelevant and it can only serve an improper purpose."

    Reference(s)

    ILOAT Judgment(s): 1391

    Keywords:

    breach; complaint allowed; complaint allowed in part; confidential evidence; consequence; disciplinary measure; formal requirements; freedom of speech; iloat; internal appeals body; international civil servant; judicial review; misuse of authority; oral proceedings; organisation; privileges and immunities; procedure; purpose; reply; respect for dignity; right; same; settlement out of court;



  • Judgment 2750


    105th Session, 2008
    International Atomic Energy Agency
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR

    Consideration 27

    Extract:

    "Although [IAEA] Staff Regulation 4.02 provides that no notice is necessary in the case of expiry at the due date of a fixed-term or short-term appointment, the duty of an organisation to act in good faith and to respect the dignity of staff members requires that reasonable notice be given, 'particularly so that they may exercise their right to appeal and take whatever action may be necessary' (see Judgments 2104 and 2531)."

    Reference(s)

    Organization rules reference: IAEA Staff Regulation 4.02
    ILOAT Judgment(s): 2104, 2531

    Keywords:

    complaint allowed; complaint allowed in part; contract; date; fixed-term; good faith; international civil servant; notice; organisation's duties; respect for dignity; right of appeal; separation from service; short-term; staff regulations and rules;



  • Judgment 2745


    105th Session, 2008
    International Atomic Energy Agency
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR

    Consideration 19

    Extract:

    "It was said in Judgment 2524 that, although harassment and mobbing do not require bad faith or prejudice or other malicious intent, 'behaviour will not be characterised as harassment or mobbing if there is a reasonable explanation for the conduct in question'. Thus, it was said in Judgment 2370 that conduct that 'had a valid managerial purpose or was the result of honest mistake, or even mere inefficiency' would not constitute harassment. However and as pointed out in Judgment 2524, 'an explanation which is prima facie reasonable may be rejected if there is evidence of ill will or prejudice or if the behaviour in question is disproportionate to the matter which is said to have prompted the course taken'."

    Reference(s)

    ILOAT Judgment(s): 2370, 2524

    Keywords:

    bias; condition; conduct; consequence; definition; evidence; good faith; grounds; intention of parties; judgment of the tribunal; mistake of fact; organisation's duties; proportionality; qualifications; respect for dignity;



  • Judgment 2720


    105th Session, 2008
    International Telecommunication Union
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR

    Consideration 14

    Extract:

    "Of course the ITU, which had fulfilled its obligation to execute Judgment 2540, had every right to circulate comments that were critical of that judicial ruling [...]. In so doing, however, the Union was not entitled [...] to challenge the findings of fact made in that judgment, which had res judicata authority; nor was it entitled, above all, to harm the complainant's honour and reputation by defamatory statements."

    Reference(s)

    ILOAT Judgment(s): 2540

    Keywords:

    complaint allowed; complaint allowed in part; execution of judgment; judgment of the tribunal; organisation's duties; res judicata; respect for dignity;

    Consideration 16

    Extract:

    "[W]here a judgment has been rendered against an international organisation in a dispute with one of its staff members, the circulation after delivery of the said judgment of a message defaming the complainant constitutes a very serious breach of the obligations incumbent on the organisation in its relations with its staff members. Such conduct disregards not only the [...] duty to respect the staff member's dignity and reputation but also - and this is an even more serious matter - the duty to safeguard the free exercise of his right to file a complaint with the Tribunal, which implies, inter alia, that the success of such a complaint shall not entail punitive or retaliatory measures against him."

    Keywords:

    breach; complaint; complaint allowed; judgment of the tribunal; organisation's duties; respect for dignity; right of appeal; safeguard;



  • Judgment 2706


    104th Session, 2008
    World Intellectual Property Organization
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR

    Consideration 8

    Extract:

    The complainant, who was sexually harassed by her supervisor, wants the Tribunal to order that she be promoted. "[T]he Organization is of course right in saying that the compensation for her injuries should not take the form of being granted a higher grade. The advancement of an official naturally obeys its own logic related to the classification of the job done and the professional merit of the person in question, which has nothing to do with the logic behind compensation for injuries which may have been caused to this person by the international organisation employing him or her."

    Keywords:

    allowance; compensation; complaint allowed; complaint allowed in part; definition; difference; harassment; injury; organisation; organisation's duties; post classification; promotion; qualifications; request by a party; respect for dignity; sex discrimination; supervisor;

    Consideration 3

    Extract:

    The complainant having reported that she had been sexually harassed by her supervisor, the latter was verbally reprimanded. The Organization asserts that the complainant has failed to discharge the burden of proof with respect to her allegations of harassment. "[I]n imposing a disciplinary sanction on the complainant's supervisor on account of these acts of sexual harassment, the Organization necessarily acknowledged that they had occurred. Consequently, it cannot now dispute the merits of the complainant's accusations in this respect without completely contradicting itself and casting major doubts on whether its own decisions regarding its staff are taken in a responsible manner in such a sensitive area as that of discipline."

    Keywords:

    burden of proof; complaint allowed; complaint allowed in part; decision; disciplinary measure; harassment; lack of evidence; organisation's duties; reprimand; respect for dignity; sex discrimination; supervisor;



  • Judgment 2656


    103rd Session, 2007
    International Atomic Energy Agency
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR

    Consideration 7

    Extract:

    The complainant was accused of having deliberately made false allegations of misconduct against other staff members. At the end of the disciplinary procedure he was dismissed for serious misconduct. "[A]lthough it is not correct to equate deliberate falsehood with reckless indifference to the truth in all circumstances, the nature of the allegations may be such that there is little, if any, room for difference in the consequent sanction. The more serious the allegation, the greater is the need for care. In the present case the allegations were indeed serious, and were of a kind which, in the absence of cogent evidence, should never have been made. That being so, there was no error in this case in equating the appropriate sanction for reckless indifference with that for deliberate falsehood. The complainant showed a callous disregard for the feelings of the persons concerned and a lack of judgement that was wholly incompatible with the standards of conduct required of an international civil servant. In the circumstances, these matters do not warrant a finding that the disciplinary action was disproportionate to the conduct in question."

    Keywords:

    breach; conduct; disciplinary measure; disciplinary procedure; freedom of speech; international civil servant; lack of evidence; liability; misconduct; proportionality; respect for dignity; same; serious misconduct; staff member's duties; termination; working relations; written rule;



  • Judgment 2654


    103rd Session, 2007
    United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR

    Consideration 7

    Extract:

    The complainant requests that UNESCO recognise that she has been subjected to moral harassment and acknowledge all the repercussions this has had on her "human dignity and professional life". The Organization asks the Tribunal to find that there is no factual or legal basis to the complainant's claim that she notified the Administration of a case of moral harassment. The Tribunal considers "that the complainant did accuse her supervisor of harassment, and that the Organization, which was then under an obligation to initiate an objective inquiry into the validity of her accusations, failed to do so and has merely regretted the fact that it held no investigations.
    By failing to conduct an inquiry to determine the validity of such serious accusations, the defendant breached both its duty of care towards one of its staff members and its duty of good governance, thereby depriving the complainant of her right to be given an opportunity to prove her allegations."

    Keywords:

    breach; burden of proof; career; claim; complaint allowed; complaint allowed in part; condition; consequence; duty of care; harassment; inquiry; organisation's duties; respect for dignity; right; supervisor; working conditions; working relations;



  • Judgment 2642


    103rd Session, 2007
    World Health Organization
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR

    Consideration 8

    Extract:

    "In Judgment 2552 the Tribunal pointed out that an accusation of harassment 'requires that an international organisation both investigate the matter thoroughly and accord full due process and protection to the person accused'. Its duty to a person who makes a claim of harassment requires that the claim be investigated both promptly and thoroughly, that the facts be determined objectively and in their overall context (see Judgment 2524), that the law be applied correctly, that due process be observed and that the person claiming, in good faith, to have been harassed not be stigmatised or victimised on that account (see Judgment 1376)."

    Reference(s)

    ILOAT Judgment(s): 1376, 2524, 2552

    Keywords:

    complaint allowed; due process; good faith; harassment; inquiry; organisation's duties; respect for dignity; safeguard;



  • Judgment 2635


    103rd Session, 2007
    International Telecommunication Union
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR

    Consideration 7

    Extract:

    "It is [...] well established in the case law that the preservation of harmony and good relations in a working environment are legitimate interests. A decision to transfer a staff member will not be invalid if taken for that purpose. Accordingly, in the present case, even if the decision to transfer the complainant was motivated by a desire to resolve relational difficulties, provided the new position accorded reasonably with her qualifications and respected her dignity, there would be no basis on which to interfere with the decision."

    Keywords:

    complaint allowed; complaint allowed in part; decision; discretion; grounds; organisation's duties; organisation's interest; purpose; qualifications; respect for dignity; staff member's interest; transfer; working conditions; working relations;



  • Judgment 2626


    103rd Session, 2007
    European Patent Organisation
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR

    Consideration 5(a)

    Extract:

    "A decision to refuse to publish in an international organisation's in-house magazine the corrigendum of an article which, in the opinion of the staff member concerned, injures his personal interests may constitute a breach of that staff member's personal rights and an infringement of his freedom of expression. Insofar as such a decision in itself produces legal effects and infringes the rights of the staff member concerned, it constitutes an administrative act causing injury."

    Keywords:

    amendment to the rules; breach; cause of action; effect; freedom of speech; individual decision; injury; moral injury; organisation; publication; refusal; respect for dignity; right; staff member's interest;



  • Judgment 2594


    102nd Session, 2007
    World Intellectual Property Organization
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR

    Consideration 11

    Extract:

    "it is beyond the competence of the Tribunal to make recommendations to an organisation regarding the implementation of specific procedures on workplace harassment and to order an organisation to make an apology."

    Keywords:

    claim; competence of tribunal; harassment; organisation's duties; procedure; respect for dignity; tribunal;



  • Judgment 2553


    101st Session, 2006
    International Atomic Energy Agency
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR

    Considerations 5 and 6

    Extract:

    Harassment is described in IAEA staff notice SEC/NOT/1922 as follows:
    "Harassment is any conduct or comment made by a staff member or group of staff members on either a one-time or continuous basis that demeans, belittles or causes personal humiliation. It can take many different forms, including, for example: threatening comments, whether oral or written, or threatening physical behaviour; intimidation, blackmail or coercion; making deliberate insults related to a person's personal or professional competence; humiliating, degrading or making offensive or abusive personal remarks to someone; undermining or isolating people; or making it impossible for staff to do their job by, for example, withholding information."
    "This is a very broad definition, no doubt designedly so. It requires reasonable interpretation and application to the circumstances of each particular case. It contains both subjective and objective elements: did the alleged victim actually feel humiliated, offended or intimidated by the impugned conduct, and was such conduct, viewed objectively, of a nature reasonably to humiliate, offend or intimidate? Where the impugned conduct consists of words, although truth will not always constitute a complete defence, an inquiry as to whether such words may or may not reasonably be true is obviously relevant. Likewise, an inquiry as to whether the speaker's words can reasonably be seen as a reference to the performance of duties and are not merely gratuitous comments will be germane. Personal characteristics such as gender, race and ethnicity as well as the reasonableness of the sensitivities of the alleged victim, must also be weighed in considering both questions. Similarly, any previous history of relations between the alleged victim and the alleged offender may be relevant and, while a single injurious action may by itself be enough to constitute harassment, an otherwise apparently inoffensive comment may, with repetition, become a legitimate source of grievance.
    In the final analysis, the question as to whether any particular act or series of acts amounts to harassment is one of fact to be answered only after careful consideration of the above factors and an examination of all the surrounding circumstances."

    Reference(s)

    Organization rules reference: IAEA staff notice SEC/NOT/1922

    Keywords:

    breach; conduct; continuing breach; criteria; definition; difference; harassment; information note; international civil servant; interpretation; judicial review; moral injury; organisation's duties; purpose; qualifications; respect for dignity; sex discrimination; working relations; written rule;



  • Judgment 2552


    101st Session, 2006
    International Atomic Energy Agency
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR

    Consideration 3

    Extract:

    An accusation of harassment "requires that an international organisation both investigate the matter thoroughly and accord full due process and protection to the person accused."

    Keywords:

    due process; harassment; inquiry; organisation's duties; respect for dignity; safeguard;



  • Judgment 2540


    101st Session, 2006
    International Telecommunication Union
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR

    Consideration 30

    Extract:

    "It was said in Judgment 442 that:
    «As a rule an official's comments on his subordinates do not give them any right to compensation; otherwise supervisors would express only guarded opinions about their subordinates, and that would be harmful to the organisation's efficiency. The most that can be said is that when a supervisor expresses an opinion which he knows to be untrue for a purely malicious purpose he, or the organisation, will be liable.»
    To that should be added the rider that the duty to act in good faith and, also, the duty to respect the dignity of a subordinate require that the subordinate be given an opportunity to answer any criticism made and that his or her answers or explanations be fairly considered."

    Reference(s)

    ILOAT Judgment(s): 442

    Keywords:

    allowance; complaint allowed; complaint allowed in part; consequence; difference; equity; general principle; good faith; injury; liability; mistake of fact; organisation; organisation's duties; purpose; respect for dignity; right; right to reply; supervisor; work appraisal;

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