Judgment No. 4243
1. The Organization shall pay the complainant 19,000 Swiss francs in moral damages.
2. It shall also pay her 5,000 Swiss francs in costs.
3. The complainant’s other claims are dismissed, as is WIPO’s counterclaim.
The complainant challenges the dismissal of her complaint of discrimination and harassment.
complaint allowed; harassment
WIPO challenges the receivability of the complaint on the grounds that it is directed against the Director General’s decision of 19 January 2016 and not against the Assistant Director General’s decision of 15 April 2016, which was the final decision. It is correct that in the complaint form the complainant only mentioned the Director General’s decision of 19 January 2016, but in her written submissions she also seeks the setting aside of the Assistant Director General’s decision of 15 April 2016.
The challenge to the receivability of the complaint therefore fails.
claim; receivability of the complaint; formal requirements
[T]he mere fact that the Assistant Director General is ordinarily under the authority of the Director General is insufficient to call his impartiality into question, since there is no evidence that he had received any instructions from the Director General.
impartiality; conflict of interest
The complainant criticizes first of all the consultations which took place [with the Medical Adviser]. But WIPO rightly invokes the guidelines applicable within the United Nations system and the fact that the certification of sick leave does not systematically involve an auscultation.
According to the Tribunal’s established case law, there can be no question of abandonment of post unless the staff member shows an intention not to return (see Judgments 3853, consideration 21, 1834, consideration 7, and 392, consideration 4).
Jugement(s) TAOIT: 392, 1834, 3853
abandonment of post
The Tribunal recalls that harassment cases should be treated as quickly and efficiently as possible, in order to protect staff members from unnecessary suffering (see Judgments 3447, consideration 7, and 2642, consideration 8).
Jugement(s) TAOIT: 2642, 3447
According to the Tribunal’s case law, a long series of examples of mismanagement or omissions which have compromised the dignity and career of an employee may constitute institutional harassment (see Judgments 3315, consideration 22, and 3250, consideration 9).
In the instant case, although a number of pleas made by the complainant have been rejected, the Tribunal has noted in the foregoing many examples of mismanagement [...].
[A]ccording to the Tribunal’s case law, a series of errors of management or omissions is not, in itself, sufficient to establish institutional harassment. Such errors and omissions must also have compromised the official’s dignity and career prospects.
Jugement(s) TAOIT: 3250, 3315
The complainant asks the Tribunal to make a number of declarations of law. According to the Tribunal’s established case law, such claims are irreceivable (see Judgments 3876, consideration 2, 3764, consideration 3, 3640, consideration 3, and 3618, consideration 9).
Jugement(s) TAOIT: 3618, 3640, 3764, 3876
declaration of law