Judgment No. 4042
1. The impugned decision is set aside.
2. The EPO shall restore the complainant with retroactive effect to the grade and step she would have held but for the imposition of the disciplinary sanction, with all legal consequences.
3. The EPO shall pay interest on the resulting remuneration arrears at the rate of 5 per cent per annum from due dates until the date of payment.
4. The EPO shall pay the complainant moral damages in the sum of 25,000 euros.
5. The EPO shall pay the complainant costs in the sum of 8,000 euros.
6. All other claims are dismissed.
The complainant challenges the decision to downgrade her for misconduct.
complaint allowed; decision quashed; downgrading; misconduct; staff representative
[T]he complainant was entitled to share the letter with others in SUEPO, both as a general critique of the lawfulness of the general agreement and a manifestation of the Administration’s view of her conduct said to be an “implementation” of it. It is well settled that staff representatives must enjoy a broad freedom of speech (Judgment 3156, consideration 12) and it was not unlawful for the complainant to disseminate the letter of 2 November 2015 as she admitted doing.
Jugement(s) TAOIT: 3156
freedom of speech; staff representative
As a general proposition, a provision of a staff rule or regulation founding a charge of misconduct should not be widely or liberally construed so as to capture conduct potentially at the very margins of the conduct proscribed by the rule or regulation.
In the circumstances, the Tribunal is satisfied it can resolve the complaint adequately and fairly without the oral hearing sought by the complainant. That request is rejected.