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Thursday, September 21, 2023

IT Employee Sues Employer for Mistakenly Believing ‘xx’ Was a Kiss

An IT employee filed a lawsuit against her boss for sexual harassment due to her boss's use of "xx" and "yy" in an email

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ENGLAND: Karina Gasparova argued that Alexander Goulandris’ renaming of a file with his initials “ajg” was an acronym for “A Jumbo Genital”. Her interpretation was deemed “skewed” by the employment tribunal, and her assertions were disproven.

Gasparova filed a complaint against essDOCS, alleging sexual harassment, discrimination, and an arbitrary discharge. She alleged that her boss, Alexander Goulandris, was trying to chat her up and that he implied his intention to engage in sexual acts in his email correspondence.

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Gasparova, who was in her own defence, claimed that the ‘xx’ stood for kisses, ‘yy’ for sexual contact, and ‘????’ was a slang term for the question “when she would be ready” to do sexual actions.

The tribunal panel ruled that the request for information was genuine and did not indicate anything sexual. Goulandris is accused of saying “Have a nice evening” in an alluring voice and other charges.

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Gasparova argued that Goulandris intentionally touched her hand as he reached for a computer mouse, but both incidents were rejected by the tribunal. Gasparova argued that Goulandris was “rich and powerful” and not likely to make any advances.

Gasparova wrote a complaint letter to Goulandris in April 2021 but resigned after it was denied. The tribunal panel labelled her assertions as having a “skewed perception of ordinary events” and noted her tendency to make extraordinary allegations without evidence.

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The allegations of sexual harassment, discrimination, and unjust dismissal made by Gasparova were disproved, and she was forced to pay essDOCS £5,000 in costs.

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