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Moral injury (50,-666)

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Keywords: Moral injury
Total judgments found: 402

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  • Judgment 4299


    130th Session, 2020
    International Atomic Energy Agency
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR
    Summary: The complainant challenges the decision to dismiss his claim for moral damages for harassment.

    Considerations 4-5

    Extract:

    [T]here is a material difference between an official alleging she or he had been harassed in the context of alleging misconduct, on the one hand, and an official alleging she or he had been harassed in the context of seeking protection from the harassment, on the other. In the latter situation, the organization’s primary obligation is to investigate whether there has been harassment and, if satisfied that there has been, take steps to prevent any further harassment. This obligation is part of a more general obligation to ensure that officials work in a safe working environment free from physical and psychological risk (see, for example, Judgment 4171, consideration 11). Those steps might include counselling the perpetrators of the harassment or relocating the staff member the subject of the harassment to another workplace or even another position.
    It is true that a staff member who has, in the latter situation just discussed, established she or he has been harassed may also be entitled to an award of moral damages by the organization for the harassment (see, for example, Judgment 4158, consideration 3). Whether there is such an entitlement may depend on the terms of the regime in place within the organization to deal with harassment grievances. It is certainly something that can be awarded in proceedings in the Tribunal (see Judgment 4241, considerations 24 and 25). However, what is important is that, even if moral damages might be awarded, that is a subsidiary remedy or relief available in cases of this type when harassment is established. As just discussed, the primary obligation of the organization if harassment is proved is to protect the complainant and prevent further harassment.

    Reference(s)

    ILOAT Judgment(s): 4158, 4171, 4241

    Keywords:

    harassment; moral injury;



  • Judgment 4286


    130th Session, 2020
    World Intellectual Property Organization
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR
    Summary: The complainant challenges the decision to reject her claim of retaliation/harassment.

    Consideration 19

    Extract:

    In light of the [...] findings, the Tribunal would in principle set aside the impugned decision and remit the matter to the organization concerned. However, in view of the effluxion of time that course of action would be impracticable. The complainant is no longer a staff member of WIPO and the result of her harassment complaint is yet to be determined. The Tribunal concludes that the complainant suffered moral injury [...].

    Keywords:

    case sent back to organisation; moral injury;



  • Judgment 4284


    130th Session, 2020
    United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR
    Summary: The complainant asks the Tribunal to find that UNESCO has failed to execute Judgment 3936 and to order the Organization to review her case.

    Consideration 8

    Extract:

    [A]lthough the application for execution has become moot, the Tribunal considers it appropriate to award 7,000 euros in moral damages to the complainant, who had to wait more than 24 months for a new decision, which she received only after reminding the Organization and lodging an application for execution [...] with the Tribunal.

    Keywords:

    delay; execution of judgment; moral injury;



  • Judgment 4261


    129th Session, 2020
    European Patent Organisation
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR
    Summary: The complainant challenges the withdrawal of a decision to assign her additional duties on a temporary basis.

    Consideration 12

    Extract:

    It is a well-established principle in the Tribunal’s case law, as was recently stated in Judgment 4178, consideration 14, citing Judgment 3353, consideration 26, that “[a]n organisation must care for the dignity of its staff members and not cause them unnecessary personal distress and disappointment where this could be avoided”. In the present case the complainant, who held a senior position within the EPO, agreed to take on additional duties subject to certain conditions a significant number of which were directed towards relieving her of some of the burdens of doing so. The complainant received unqualified assurances that her conditions concerning support would be met. The fact that she would take on those additional duties was made known widely within the Organisation. It cannot be doubted, in the Tribunal’s opinion, that the abandoning of this arrangement because the unqualified assurances could, in fact, not be met would have caused the complainant considerable distress and disappointment, particularly having regard to the fact that the arrangement had been widely publicised within the Organisation. The complainant is entitled to moral damages[.]

    Reference(s)

    ILOAT Judgment(s): 3353, 4178

    Keywords:

    distress; moral injury; respect for dignity;



  • Judgment 4241


    129th Session, 2020
    World Health Organization
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR
    Summary: The complaint challenges the decision to dismiss her complaint of harassment as unsubstantiated.

    Consideration 4

    Extract:

    [The complainant's] claim for moral damages on the ground that there was excessive delay in the investigation process is well founded. The Tribunal has consistently stated that harassment cases should be treated as quickly and efficiently as possible, in order to protect staff members from unnecessary suffering, but attention must also be paid to thoroughness and procedure (Judgment 3447, consideration 7), and that the moral injury caused to the complainant by excessive delay will be fairly redressed by awarding her or him compensation (see, for example, Judgment 4111, consideration 9). The complainant submitted her harassment complaint on 19 January 2016. The IOS called the first witness on 24 October, some nine months later. On 13 July 2017 it submitted its report to the Executive Director, who informed the complainant by correspondence of 13 September 2017 that the matter was closed. The duration of the process was excessive both in light of the Tribunal’s case law and paragraph 2.1 of the Policy on the Prevention of Harassment at WHO[.]

    Reference(s)

    ILOAT Judgment(s): 3447, 4111

    Keywords:

    harassment; moral injury;

    Consideration 23

    Extract:

    [A]lthough the Tribunal concludes that there is nothing in the evidence to suggest that the DXD/MER intentionally set out to unsettle the complainant, the fact remains that taking all the circumstances of the case into account, the actions taken by or on the orders of the DXD/MER were liable to offend and humiliate the complainant. Moreover, in the Tribunal’s view, a reasonable person would have found the actions offensive and humiliating. The DXD/MER ought reasonably to have known that those actions would have offended and humiliated the complainant, and that they interfered with the complainant’s ability to carry out her work and created a hostile work environment for her, thus constituting harassment in the terms set out in the Policy. This entitles the complainant to moral damages[.]

    Keywords:

    harassment; moral injury;



  • Judgment 4240


    129th Session, 2020
    World Health Organization
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR
    Summary: The complainant challenges the decision to reassign her to the post of Senior Advisor on Innovative Strategic Information, Strategic Information and Evaluation Department.

    Consideration 17

    Extract:

    The complainant seeks moral damages for the improper reassignment on the ground, which the Tribunal accepts, that it caused her stress, distress, physical exhaustion, humiliation and adversely affected her career.

    Keywords:

    moral injury;



  • Judgment 4239


    129th Session, 2020
    World Health Organization
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR
    Summary: The complainant challenges the decision to terminate her appointment for health reasons and claims that the compensation she received for her service-incurred injury is grossly inadequate.

    Consideration 26

    Extract:

    [T]here is a possibility that the breach of WHO’s duty of care concerning the complainant when she returned to Geneva has led or contributed to the professional and personal circumstances in which the complainant now finds herself. An inference can readily be drawn that the complainant knows that, had she received appropriate treatment immediately on her return to Geneva, her grave present predicament, arising so early in her adult life, might not have come about and also she believes WHO should have done more to support and help her. It cannot be doubted that these matters have caused and will continue to cause the complainant considerable distress. In the special circumstances of this case, the complainant is entitled to a significant award of moral damages that the Tribunal assesses in the sum of 180,000 United States dollars.

    Keywords:

    distress; duty of care; moral injury;

    Consideration 25

    Extract:

    One of its staff had been injured, as it turns out seriously, in a car accident while on a mission overseas when performing work for the Organization. WHO had an ongoing responsibility to do all it could to mitigate the effects of the accident as part of a more general obligation to protect the health and ensure the safety of its staff (see Judgment 3994, consideration 8). It is true that Dr H. asked the complainant to see her on her return and she did not. But that provides no real justification for WHO effectively doing nothing by way of further mitigating the effects of the accident. The complainant is entitled to moral damages for this breach of the duty of care.

    Reference(s)

    ILOAT Judgment(s): 3994

    Keywords:

    duty of care; injury; mitigation of loss; moral injury; service-incurred;

    Consideration 33

    Extract:

    The time taken for the internal appeal was clearly lengthy. But having regard to the potentially complex factual and legal issues raised, the gravity of the subject matter and the fairly detailed consideration of the appeals undertaken by the HBA as revealed by its report, the time taken was not so long as to warrant the award of additional moral damages.

    Keywords:

    delay in internal procedure; moral injury;



  • Judgment 4237


    129th Session, 2020
    World Health Organization
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR
    Summary: The complainant challenges the decision – taken after his resignation – to find him guilty of serious misconduct, and the decision to withhold from his separation entitlements an amount corresponding to financial losses allegedly incurred by WHO as a result of his misconduct.

    Consideration 13

    Extract:

    Taking into account all of the circumstances, including the factual and legal complexity of the proceedings, the number of steps in the process (the IOS investigation, the two appeals before the RBA and the appeal before the GBA), the total length of the procedure was not unreasonable. The claim for moral damages for excessive delay is rejected.

    Keywords:

    delay; internal appeal; moral injury;



  • Judgment 4234


    129th Session, 2020
    International Office of Epizootics
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR
    Summary: The complainant challenges the decision to dismiss him.

    Consideration 11

    Extract:

    The unlawful dismissal caused the complainant substantial moral injury.
    Given, in particular, the damage to the complainant’s honour and professional reputation resulting from the grounds on which his employment was terminated, the Tribunal considers it appropriate to award him 10,000 euros in moral damages under this head.

    Keywords:

    moral injury;



  • Judgment 4231


    129th Session, 2020
    Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR
    Summary: The complainant challenges the decision not to extend his fixed-term appointment and to place him on special leave with pay until his contract expired.

    Considerations 13-14

    Extract:

    [T]he Tribunal’s finding in consideration 7 of Judgment 3596 merely accepted that special leave pursuant to Staff Rule 302.5.21 is intended as a privilege for the benefit of staff members for the reasons stated in that Rule “or for other important reasons”, which, in effect, must similarly be for the benefit of staff members by virtue of the ejusdem generis rule. Accordingly, in that case, as in the present case, the FAO committed an error of law and an abuse of authority when it used Staff Rule 302.5.21 unilaterally, for a purpose which was extraneous to the Rule, and in the manner in which it did.
    [T]he complainant’s plea that the FAO committed an error of law and an abuse of authority when it placed him on special leave with pay some six months prior to the expiration of his appointment is well founded. The impugned decision of 12 March 2018, as well as the decisions of 4 July 2014 and 1 December 2014, will be set aside insofar as they concern the placement of the complainant on special leave. The complainant will be awarded moral damages for the harm to his professional reputation and to his dignity that he states he has suffered as a result of the unlawfulness of the decisions.

    Reference(s)

    ILOAT Judgment(s): 3596

    Keywords:

    leave with pay; moral injury; respect for dignity; special leave;

    Consideration 15

    Extract:

    The complainant submits that he is entitled to compensation for the inordinate delay (over three years) in the process, from the submission of his appeal to the Director-General on 29 September 2014 to the issuing of the impugned decision on 12 March 2018. The Tribunal accepts that the delay in the internal appeal process was excessive. However, the request for moral damages will be rejected as the complainant has not articulated the adverse effects of the delay.

    Keywords:

    delay in internal procedure; moral injury;



  • Judgment 4230


    129th Session, 2020
    Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR
    Summary: The complainant challenges the decision to introduce a maximum length of employment under short-term appointments in breach of applicable rules on consultation with staff representatives.

    Consideration 15

    Extract:

    The Tribunal finds that the complainant has proved that the Organization showed bad faith by denying the UGSS its right to be consulted, in accordance with the Recognition Agreement and the Staff Regulations and Rules [...]. Presenting the SMCC with a pre-determined decision instead of providing for a proper consultation, and then later choosing to deal with the affected staff members on a case-by-case basis undermined the reputation, competence, and authority of the SRBs. However, according to consistent case law, the complainant, acting as a staff representative, is not entitled to an award of moral damages (see Judgments 3258, under 5, 3522, under 6, and 3671, under 5).

    Reference(s)

    ILOAT Judgment(s): 3258, 3522, 3671

    Keywords:

    bad faith; moral injury; staff representative;



  • Judgment 4229


    129th Session, 2020
    Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR
    Summary: The complainant, a former staff member of the World Food Programme, challenges the decision to maintain the decision not to renew his contract, and to award him material and moral damages instead of reinstatement.

    Considerations 5-7

    Extract:

    The complainant claims moral damages for excessive delay. It is well settled in the case law that internal appeals must be conducted with due diligence and in a manner consistent with the duty of care an international organization owes to its staff members. It is also settled that the amount of compensation for unreasonable delay will ordinarily be influenced by at least two considerations. One is the length of the delay and the other is the effect of the delay. These considerations are interrelated as lengthy delay may have a greater effect. The effect of the delay will usually depend on, amongst other things, the subject matter of the appeal (see, for example, Judgment 4100, consideration 7).
    [...] The relevant period of delay in the internal appeal proceedings was about three years and eight months. This was too long. It was not in keeping with the Organization’s duty of care to the complainant, which required it to ensure that the internal appeal was conducted with due diligence.
    Regarding the impact of that delay, the complainant states that it caused him injury that was even more serious because he was unfairly separated from WFP in June 2013 when the appeal proceedings were ongoing, although he had requested that his appointment be extended until those proceedings were finalized. He states that he has “been mistreated, discriminated [against] and denied [...] opportunities to join other UN Organizations” until the final decision was given.The FAO submits that the complainant is mistaken because Manual paragraph 331.3.25 states that the filing of an appeal does not have the effect of suspending the implementation of an administrative decision which is the subject of the appeal. While the Tribunal finds no ground on which to hold that the complainant was discriminated against on account of the delay, the FAO’s submission does not mean that the length of the delay in the internal appeal proceedings did not cause him injury, albeit that he might not have stated it forensically or with precision. He was obviously anxious over his employment situation but did not pursue other employment options as diligently as he might have done with the hope that he may have been reinstated. The Tribunal holds that this consideration in light of the length of the delay entitles the complainant to moral damages, for which he will be awarded 5,000 euros.

    Reference(s)

    ILOAT Judgment(s): 4100

    Keywords:

    delay in internal procedure; moral injury;



  • Judgment 4228


    129th Session, 2020
    Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR
    Summary: The complainant challenges the decision to reject his request for compensation for loss of earnings allegedly caused by a service-incurred injury.

    Consideration 7

    Extract:

    The claim regarding excessive delay in the internal proceedings leading to the final decision of 3 November 2017 is unfounded. The Tribunal finds that the duration of the proceedings cannot be considered egregious, given that the complainant’s request for reimbursement of medical expenses was approved immediately and that the procedure regarding his request for compensation for loss of earnings included many steps prior to the internal appeal before the Appeals Committee. The Tribunal further notes that there was no urgency to the question regarding loss of earnings that could not be remedied through a retroactive payment if necessary, and that the complainant has not provided convincing evidence of an injury stemming from the length of the procedure.

    Keywords:

    delay in internal procedure; moral injury;



  • Judgment 4227


    129th Session, 2020
    Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR
    Summary: The complainant challenges the decision to dismiss him for misconduct.

    Consideration 15

    Extract:

    The complainant seeks moral damages by reference to the time taken for the investigation process (over one and a half years) as well as the time taken to finalise the internal appeal process (over two and a half years). It may be accepted that both periods were extremely lengthy. However, the explicit basis for the damages is said to be “the enormous distress suffered by the complainant”. This is but an assertion not founded on any evidence of a causal connection and it is more likely that any distress suffered by the complainant over this time arose not because of the length of time the steps took but rather from the fact that the defendant organization was consistently satisfied at several levels of decision-making and review that the decision to dismiss the complainant for serious misconduct was justified.

    Keywords:

    delay in internal procedure; injury; inquiry; investigation; moral injury;



  • Judgment 4222


    129th Session, 2020
    United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR
    Summary: The complainant challenges the refusal of UNESCO to award full compensation for the injury suffered as a result of an accident recognized as being service-incurred.

    Consideration 18

    Extract:

    [W]ith regard to the other moral injuries alleged by the complainant, these appear, in the Tribunal’s view, to be negligible and therefore do not warrant substantial compensation.

    Keywords:

    moral injury;

    Consideration 18

    Extract:

    With regard to moral injury, the accident caused the complainant physical suffering and disruption to her living conditions that were not compensated under the Staff Compensation Plan.

    Keywords:

    moral injury;

    Consideration 18

    Extract:

    The complainant further alleges specific moral injury resulting from the excessive length of the internal appeals procedure. It is true that this procedure, which spanned some seven years for reasons mostly attributable to the Organization, was unreasonably long. The Tribunal considers, however, that this excessively long period did not in itself cause serious injury to the complainant.

    Keywords:

    delay in internal procedure; moral injury;



  • Judgment 4220


    129th Session, 2020
    United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR
    Summary: The complainants challenge the rejection of their requests for an agreed separation.

    Consideration 13

    Extract:

    The requests for damages in respect of the delay in the internal appeal proceedings are unfounded. [T]he requests lacked substantiation as the complainants sought moral damages but advanced no evidence, or even argument, to support their claims.

    Keywords:

    moral injury;



  • Judgment 4219


    129th Session, 2020
    ITER International Fusion Energy Organization
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR
    Summary: The complainant, who had been seconded to the ITER Organization, challenges the decision to end his secondment and the failure to investigate his harassment allegations.

    Consideration 18

    Extract:

    While this complaint is receivable and one aspect of the complainant’s case is well founded, the question of relief is problematic. In relation to the alleged harassment, he seeks an order directed to the defendant organisation “to recognize that he has been a victim of harassment and compensate him for the damage he has suffered as a consequence of the harassment, in the amount of [euros] 50,000”. Even if it was appropriate, as a matter of principle, to make such an order, there is insufficient material before the Tribunal to undertake an assessment of whether harassment has occurred. Also, in the circumstances of this case, given that the complainant has left the ITER Organization, it would not be advisable to direct the ITER Organization to investigate his allegations (see Judgments 3639, consideration 9, or 3935, consideration 8). However, he is entitled to moral damages for the failure of the ITER Organization to do so[.]

    Reference(s)

    ILOAT Judgment(s): 3639, 3935

    Keywords:

    harassment; inquiry; investigation; moral injury;



  • Judgment 4218


    129th Session, 2020
    ITER International Fusion Energy Organization
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR
    Summary: The complainant challenges the decision not to renew her fixed-term contract.

    Consideration 6

    Extract:

    The fourth argument is that there had been a violation of the requirement for transparency. The only point of substance raised on this topic is that the complainant was not provided with copies of certain documents before the CRJAC. Copies of those documents have been provided by the defendant organization in its reply. They should have been provided to the complainant at the time they were provided to the CRJAC (see, for example, Judgment 2588, consideration 7). However, in her rejoinder, the complainant failed to demonstrate in any material way that either the failure to provide them at the time or their content tainted the decision-making process leading to the ultimate decision impugned in these proceedings not to renew her contract and thus failed to prove she suffered prejudice (see Judgment 3377, consideration 16). In these circumstances no moral damages should be awarded.

    Reference(s)

    ILOAT Judgment(s): 2588, 3377

    Keywords:

    disclosure of evidence; injury; moral injury;



  • Judgment 4217


    129th Session, 2020
    International Fund for Agricultural Development
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR
    Summary: The complainant challenges the decision not to provide her with the record of the investigation that ensued after she filed a harassment complaint against her supervisor, and the fact that she received no compensation for the moral harassment that she claims to have suffered.

    Consideration 9

    Extract:

    According to the Tribunal’s case law, by virtue of the principle that an international organisation must provide its staff members with a safe and healthy working environment, it is liable for all injuries caused to a staff member by a supervisor when the victim is subjected to treatment that is an affront to her or his dignity (see, for example, Judgments 1609, under 16, 1875, under 32, 2706, under 5, or 3170, under 33).

    Reference(s)

    ILOAT Judgment(s): 1609, 1875, 2706, 3170

    Keywords:

    compensation; harassment; moral injury; respect for dignity; working conditions;



  • Judgment 4215


    129th Session, 2020
    Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail
    Extracts: EN, FR
    Full Judgment Text: EN, FR
    Summary: The complainant challenges the decision not to confirm his appointment at the end of his probation period.

    Consideration 23

    Extract:

    As far as moral injury is concerned, the Tribunal considers that the non-confirmation of the complainant’s appointment also caused him substantial harm in this respect, particularly inasmuch as it was liable to damage his professional reputation.
    It might be observed in this regard that the Organisation itself attempted to limit that harm by endeavouring, as stated above, not to cite the complainant’s unsatisfactory performance as the official basis for the decision and by sending to his national civil service, at the same time, an appraisal that passed over the criticism of his performance. However, besides the fact that the Tribunal plainly cannot condone such questionable actions, it is highly doubtful that they actually minimised the harm to the complainant’s professional reputation.
    Moreover, the abruptness with which the complainant’s appointment was ended, forcing him to leave his duties almost immediately after he was notified of the impugned decision, inevitably caused him distress.

    Keywords:

    moral injury; professional reputation;

    Consideration 24

    Extract:

    [T]he period of some 11 months which it took to handle this appeal is not inherently unreasonable and, insofar as the complainant was not in a precarious position from the point of view of employment during this period, this time frame did not cause him substantial injury.

    Keywords:

    delay in internal procedure; moral injury;

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