Judgment No. 3239
1. The decisions of the Director of the CDE of 31 March 2010 and 2 December 2009 and the complainant’s assessment reports for 2007 and 2008 are set aside.
2. The CDE shall pay the complainant material damages calculated in the manner stated in consideration 20 of the judgment.
3. The Centre shall pay the complainant compensation for moral injury in the amount of 10,000 euros.
4. It shall also pay her 5,000 euros in costs.
5. The complainant’s remaining claims are dismissed, as is the Centre’s counterclaim.
The Tribunal quashed the decision to terminate the complainant’s contract because it was taken on the basis of flawed performance evaluation reports.
Placing a document in a staff member's file is not the same as its notification in due and proper form.
personal file; duty to inform
As the Tribunal has consistently held, an international organisation cannot base an adverse decision on a staff member’s unsatisfactory performance if it has not complied with the rules established to evaluate that performance (see, for example, Judgments 2414, under 24, 2991, under 13, or 3148, under 25).
Jugement(s) TAOIT: 2414, 2991, 3148
organisation's duties; unsatisfactory service
complaint allowed; decision quashed; performance report; termination of employment
The Tribunal’s case law has it that if the rules of an international organisation require that an appraisal form must be signed not only by the direct supervisor of the staff member concerned (in this case the Deputy Director, to whom the complainant reported) but also by his or her second-level supervisor (in this case the Director), this is designed to guarantee oversight, at least prima facie, of the objectivity of the report. The purpose of such a rule is to ensure that responsibilities are shared between these two authorities and that the staff member who is being appraised is shielded from a biased assessment by a supervisor, who should not be the only person issuing an opinion on the staff member’s skills and performance. It is therefore of the utmost importance that the competent second-level supervisor should take care to ascertain that the assessment submitted for his or her approval does not require modification (see Judgment 320, under 12, 13 and 17, or more recently, Judgments 2917, under 9, and 3171, under 22). Of course, this check must be carried out with particular vigilance when the assessment occurs in a context where it is especially to be feared that the supervisor making it might lack objectivity and, a fortiori, when it takes place, as it did in the instant case, in a situation of overt antagonism (see Judgment 3171, under 23).
Jugement(s) TAOIT: 320, 2917, 3171
performance report; discretion