Judgment No. 4140
The complaint is dismissed, as is IFAD’s counterclaim.
The complainant challenges the decision to summarily dismiss her for serious misconduct during her probation period.
receivability of the complaint; internal remedies exhausted; complaint dismissed
The complainant has requested oral hearings. However, in view of the ample and sufficiently clear written submissions and evidence provided by the parties, the Tribunal considers that it is fully informed about the case and, in particular, with regard to the question of receivability, which will be considered below. It does not therefore deem it necessary to grant this request.
According to the Tribunal’s case law, an international organization is under an obligation, in view of its duty of care towards its staff, to assist them when they make mistakes in exercising their right of appeal. In particular, if a staff member has mistakenly addressed an appeal to the wrong body, that body is required to forward the appeal to the competent body (see, for example, Judgments 2345, consideration 1, 3423, consideration 9(b), 3754, consideration 11, or 3928, consideration 14).
This case law [...] aims at preventing the procedural rules from wrongly becoming a trap for a staff member who misunderstands the procedure for exercising her or his right of appeal [...].
ILOAT Judgment(s): 2345, 3423, 3754, 3928
internal appeal; duty of care
As the Tribunal has often recalled, a staff member may not on her or his own initiative evade the obligation to exhaust internal means of redress prior to lodging a complaint with the Tribunal (see, for example, Judgments 2811, considerations 10 and 11, 3399, consideration 4, 3706, consideration 3, or 4056, consideration 5). A complainant cannot, in particular, claim to have respected this obligation simply because she or he has – as the complainant sought to do, in this case, by means of her letter of 3 December 2016 – sent an ultimatum to the decision-making authority to no avail (see Judgments 3302, consideration 4, or 3554, consideration 8).
ILOAT Judgment(s): 2811, 3302, 3399, 3554, 3706, 4056
receivability of the complaint; internal appeal; internal remedies exhausted
IFAD asks the Tribunal to order the complainant to reimburse the sum [...] which, according to IFAD, she owes to a credit agency offering its services to the staff of the organization. However, insofar as this counterclaim is not aimed at compensating IFAD for a damage arising out of the present proceedings as such, it must in any case be rejected as irreceivable as a consequence of the irreceivability of the complaint itself.