Worker sued boss for sending 'xx' in an email

Worker sued boss for sending 'xx' in an email

An IT specialist sued her boss with claims of sexual harassment after misinterpreting "xx" as kisses.

Karina Gasparova also believed her boss, Alexander Goulandris, used "????" following a question as a code that he was "ready to engage in sexual acts".

Goulandris renamed one of their work files to "ajg", which Gasparova was said to interpret as an abbreviation of "A Jumbo Genital".

Her claims were rejected by the employment tribunal at London Central Court after they believed her series of events to be a "skewed perception".

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The project manager at essDOCS said her superior was "trying to chat her up" when discussing work-related topics and alleged he would stare at her.

The string of so-called events led her to take the firm to the tribunal with sexual harassment, discrimination and unfair dismissal claims.

Gasparova told the panel that her boss was a powerful man, so his actions had not been "overt" as "a man in his position would be too clever" to make them obvious.

The panel decided her case "rested on interpreting seemingly innocent interactions" between herself and Goulandris and that she was "finding a sinister motive in them".

She also went on to claim, that in November 2019, Goulandris touched her leg under the table, leaving her feeling "anxious and uncomfortable".

She submitted a formal grievance letter against her boss in April 2021 but resigned when it was rejected.

Employment Judge Emma Burns said: "Our primary reasons for rejecting her account of events were that we considered her perception of everyday events was skewed.

"She demonstrated a tendency to make extraordinary allegations without evidence and she contradicted herself in a way that could not be attributable to a fallible memory

"Ms Gasparova interpreted entirely innocent work-related conduct, some of it accidental, by Mr Goulandris as having a sinister intent."

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