Judgment No. 4304
1. WHO shall pay the complainant moral damages in the amount of 25,000 Swiss francs.
2. WHO shall pay the complainant costs in the amount of 5,000 Swiss francs.
3. All other claims are dismissed.
The complainant challenges the decision of the Director-General to cancel the “Falls Below Expectations” overall rating in her 2014 performance appraisal report and to restore her entitlements as in the case of satisfactory performance, but not to award her damages or costs.
complaint allowed; performance evaluation
[I]n the complainant’s claims for relief she asks the Tribunal to re-rate itself her 2014 PMDS report as satisfactory; to recommend that sanctions be taken against her supervisors for their mismanagement of the performance appraisal procedure; and to “demand” a new investigation into her supervisor’s behaviour toward her. The Tribunal has no power to make such orders and the complainant’s claims in relation to these matters must be dismissed.
request to subject someone to disciplinary proceedings
It is well established in the case law that “[a] staff member whose service is not considered satisfactory is entitled to be informed in a timely manner as to the unsatisfactory aspects of his or her service so that steps can be taken to remedy the situation. Moreover, he or she is entitled to have objectives set in advance so that he or she will know the yardstick by which future performance will be assessed. These are fundamental aspects of the duty of an international organization to act in good faith towards its staff members and to respect their dignity. That is why it was said in Judgment 2170 that an organization must ‘conduct its affairs in a way that allows its employees to rely on the fact that [its rules] will be followed’” (see Judgment 2414, consideration 23).
The complainant submits, in effect, that the “No rating” assessment for her 2014 PMDS report was unlawful. The “No rating” assigned to her corrected PMDS report does not satisfy the Organization’s duty to provide a properly rated PMDS report. Considering the complainant’s separation from service for health reasons and the passage of time, the Tribunal will not send the case back for a new rating, but will consider this element in the award of damages.
As Mr L.S. did not inform the complainant orally or in writing of the performance issues identified in the email of 3 February 2015, she could not take any steps to remedy the issue(s) and improve her performance appraisal. This constitutes a breach of WHO’s duty to act in good faith towards the complainant and to respect her dignity for which she is entitled to an award of moral damages.
ILOAT Judgment(s): 2170, 2414
moral injury; performance evaluation
The consistent case law has it that “[t]he amount of compensation for unreasonable delay will ordinarily be influenced by at least two considerations. One is the length of the delay and the other is the effect of the delay. These considerations are interrelated as lengthy delay may have a greater effect. That latter consideration, the effect of the delay, will usually depend on, amongst other things, the subject matter of the appeal” (see Judgment 4100, consideration 7, and the cases cited therein).
ILOAT Judgment(s): 4100
moral injury; delay
In the internal appeal, the complainant did not seek material damages. However, in the present complaint, in addition to other redress, the complainant seeks material damages for the serious financial injury she sustained caused by the administration of her case which she alleges resulted in the termination of her contract for health reasons and the shortening of her career rather than obtaining a lateral transfer as recommended by the HBA. The complainant’s claims regarding the termination of her contract and consequences of the termination are beyond the scope of the present case. Additionally, the complainant has not established any loss due to the mismanagement of the 2014 performance evaluation for which she would be entitled to an award of material damages.
new claim; material damages