Judgment No. 2524
1. To the extent that it related to the claims for harassment and for moral damages with respect to the earlier decision of 16 October 2003 not to extend the complainant's contract, the decision of 18 October 2004 is set aside.
2. The Commission shall pay the complainant material and moral damages totalling 35,000 euros.
3. It shall also pay her costs in the sum of 5,000 euros.
"There were [...] fundamental errors of law in the approach of the [Joint Appeals] Panel. It proceeded on the basis that it was necessary to establish an intention to 'intimidate, insult, harass, abuse, discriminate or humiliate a colleague' and concluded that there must be 'bad faith or prejudice or other malicious intent' before that intention could be inferred. That is not correct. Harassment and mobbing do not require any such intent. However, behaviour will not be characterised as harassment or mobbing if there is a reasonable explanation for the conduct in question. (See Judgment 2370, under 17.) On the other hand, 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."
Jugement(s) TAOIT: 2370
moral injury; evidence; good faith; organisation's duties; respect for dignity; bias; criteria; harassment
"The Joint Appeals Panel [examining a case of alleged harassment] fell into [...] error by analysing certain of the incidents upon which the complainant relied as separate or independent events without considering them in their overall context."
moral injury; internal appeals body; internal appeal; evidence; organisation's duties; respect for dignity; effect; harassment
To advance serious allegations that have not been properly investigated against an official before a body that must issue a decision or recommendation concerning that official amounts to "serious failure of due process and want of fairness and good faith".
decision; internal appeals body; advisory body; right to reply; due process; equity; good faith; organisation's duties; respect for dignity; breach; advisory opinion
"Although the complainant provided the report of [her doctor] to the Joint Appeals Panel, that did not amount to implied authorisation for it to be given to [her two successive supervisors] for their comments (see Judgment 2271, under 7). There were other means available to the Administration to obtain answers from [the supervisors] to the claims made by the complainant. The disclosure to them of the medical report was a serious breach of confidence and one that, in the circumstances, was particularly insensitive."
Jugement(s) TAOIT: 2271
internal appeals body; confidential evidence; organisation's duties; respect for dignity; staff member's interest; medical opinion; supervisor