Judgment No. 4399
1. The decisions contained in the letters dated 19 November 2009 and 18 November 2013 are set aside.
2. The EPO shall pay the complainant 12,000 euros in moral damages.
3. The EPO shall also pay the complainant 1,000 euros in costs.
4. All other claims are dismissed.
The complainant challenges the decision to transfer him from a manager position to a non-managerial post.
complaint allowed; transfer; conflict of interest
The complainant claims that the internal appeal procedure was egregiously delayed. The procedure began with the complainant’s letter dated 8 March 2010 requesting that the transfer be set aside “for formal and procedural flaws, overlooking of material facts or obviously wrong conclusions which have been drawn from evidence on which the decision was based” and that he be reinstated to his previous post. The Office did not file its position paper on the appeal until 12 January 2012, the IAC presented its opinion on 23 April 2013, and the Office failed to provide the complainant with a final decision by the agreed upon extended deadline of 24 July 2013. This constituted unreasonable delay in the internal appeal proceedings. The damage to the complainant which this delay occasioned is obvious considering the simplicity of the appeal and the urgency of the need for a remedy regarding the unwanted transfer. The Tribunal will therefore award moral damages on this ground.
moral damages; delay in internal procedure
These findings reflect a balanced and thoughtful analysis by the IAC, as the primary trier of fact, of the issues raised in the internal appeal and, as such, they merit considerable deference (see Judgment 4180, consideration 7).
ILOAT Judgment(s): 4180
internal appeals body; report of the internal appeals body
The complainant was not notified of this transfer until the meeting of 12 November 2009 at which he was informed orally that the decision had been taken. Despite the Organisation’s arguments to the contrary, that notification cannot be considered as a proper consultation with the complainant prior to the decision being taken.
administrative decision; right to be heard
As the complainant has not established that his unlawful transfer caused him material injury, he will not be awarded compensation for the loss of career opportunities which he seeks.
material injury; loss of opportunity
[The complainant's] claim for costs in the internal appeal proceedings will be rejected as there are no exceptional circumstances to justify such an award (see Judgment 4217, consideration 12).
ILOAT Judgment(s): 4217
costs; internal procedure; costs for internal appeal procedure