Judgment No. 3064
1. The impugned decision is set aside.
2. The ILO shall pay the complainant 15,000 Swiss francs in compensation for the moral injury suffered.
3. It shall also pay her costs in the amount of 2,000 francs.
The complainant submits that the investigation ordered by the Director-General of the ILO into her allegations of harassment was considerably delayed. The ILO admits that "the delay in holding the investigation is inexcusable". Nevertheless, it considers that "[t]he complainant's claims in this respect are [...] groundless", since 3,000 Swiss francs were awarded as compensation for this delay.
"The Tribunal considers, however, that even if such a sum had been paid promptly and accepted by the complainant, which is not the case, the Organization could not shed its responsibility for the considerable delay in holding the investigation by simply deciding to award the complainant compensation for the injury suffered [...]. The ILO holds that the delay is due, not to the Administration's wish to harm the complainant, but to an error. In the Tribunal's opinion, this fact likewise does not exonerate the Organization or lessen its responsibility, since the error was committed by its Administration. As the [internal appeals body] rightly noted in its report [...] more than 15 months after the Director General's decision there was no information as to the progress of the investigation, or the date on which the investigator would submit his report. Consequently, it must be found that the delay in conducting the investigation caused the complainant moral injury which must be redressed."
injury; liability; moral injury; organisation; internal appeals body; administrative delay; report; delay; inquiry; organisation's duties; duty to inform; allowance; misconduct; acceptance; compensation; date; payment; harassment; investigation
"[I]n its report [...], the Joint Advisory Appeals Board "encourage[d] [the Human Resources Development Department] and the responsible chiefs of the complainant and of her head of section to pursue and step up their efforts to promote better communication and working relations" within the [complainant's unit] and [...] the letter of 18 March 2008 indicated that the Director-General had "endorse[d] this recommendation". The Administration was therefore under an obligation to pursue and step up the efforts in question. However, the evidence on file does not show that the Administration used all the means at the disposal of an organisation such as the ILO to achieve the desired result. The fact that the complainant chose to lodge an appeal in order to seek recognition of her rights did not exempt the Organization from its obligations towards one of its officials to whom it owed a duty of care and who has not been found to have committed any fault."
internal appeals body; recommendation; report; right of appeal; organisation's duties; misconduct; working relations; executive head; acceptance; consequence; purpose; right; duty of care
complaint allowed; decision quashed; inquiry; harassment; investigation