Judgment No. 3912
The complaint is dismissed.
The complainant challenges the classification of her post.
post classification; complaint dismissed
It is [...] for the Director-General to issue the final decision accepting or rejecting the JAB’s recommendation(s). The Director-General’s cover email of 3 May 2016 under which the JAB’s report was communicated to the complainant was the final decision which the complainant should have impugned. However, although the complainant purports to challenge the JAB’s report, the complaint is receivable as the Tribunal treats it as impugning the final decision of 3 May 2016 (see, for example, Judgment 3887, consideration 7).
ILOAT Judgment(s): 3887
internal appeals body; report; impugned decision; final decision
In his email cover note [...], under which the Director-General transmitted the JAB’s report to the complainant, he relevantly stated as follows:
“I write in reference to the Appeal that you have made to the Joint Appeals Board [...]. I wish to confirm that I have received the attached reply from the JAB in this regard.
I take due note of the findings of the JAB Board and am copying this message to both [the Director, New Delhi Component] and [the Chief, Legal and Administration] for due attention.”
Although that may be deduced from the statement, the Director-General should have stated, unequivocally, that he accepted the findings and recommendation of the JAB. The Tribunal would usually remit the case to the Director-General for clarification. However that course of action is considered unnecessary as it would serve no useful purpose in the present case given that it is plain that the complaint is unmeritorious.
It is convenient [...] to set out the guiding principles in a case in which the classification of a post is challenged. They were stated as follows, for example, in Judgment 3589, consideration 4:
“It is well established that the grounds for reviewing the classification of a post are limited and ordinarily a classification decision would only be set aside if it was taken without authority, had been made in breach of the rules of form or procedure, was based on an error of fact or law, was made having overlooked an essential fact, was tainted with abuse of authority or if a truly mistaken conclusion had been drawn from the facts (see, for example, Judgments 1647, consideration 7, and 1067, consideration 2). This is because the classification of posts involves the exercise of value judgements as to the nature and extent of the duties and responsibilities of the posts and it is not the Tribunal’s role to undertake this process of evaluation (see, for example, Judgment 3294, consideration 8). The grading of posts is a matter within the discretion of the executive head of the organisation (or the person acting on her or his behalf) (see, for example, Judgment 3082, consideration 20).”
ILOAT Judgment(s): 1067, 1647, 3082, 3294, 3589
post classification; judicial review; discretion; reclassification
With regard to prejudice, the Tribunal relevantly stated the following in Judgment 1775, consideration 7:
“Although evidence of personal prejudice is often concealed and such prejudice must be inferred from surrounding circumstances, that does not relieve the complainant, who has the burden of proving his allegations, from introducing evidence of sufficient quality and weight to persuade the Tribunal. Mere suspicion and unsupported allegations are clearly not enough, the less so where, as here, the actions of the Organization which are alleged to have been tainted by personal prejudice are shown to have a verifiable objective justification.”
ILOAT Judgment(s): 1775
evidence; burden of proof; bias; personal prejudice
There is no evidence that the reclassification exercise was conducted in breach of the principles of fairness or of the rules of the ICGEB. There is no evidence that in the conduct of the reclassification exercise the complainant was treated unequally to any other staff member who was in the same situation as she was in (see, for example, Judgment 3868, consideration 6, concerning the principle of equal treatment).
ILOAT Judgment(s): 3868