Karina Gasparova, an IT project manager at essDOCS, a company specialising in “paperless trade solutions” recently filed a lawsuit against her Greek employer, Alexander Goulandris, alleging sexual harassment based on her misinterpretation of certain email exchanges.
According to the court, Ms Gasparova erroneously perceived his use of “xx,” “yy,” and “????” in an email requesting information as coded language insinuating a desire for sexual relations.
Additionally, she claimed that Mr Goulandris’s renaming of a work file with the initials ‘ajg’ was intended to abbreviate “A Jumbo Genital”. She also accused her superior of attempting to flirt with her during work calls and engaging in inappropriate staring.
More specifically, she made allegations of Mr Goulandris using an “alluring voice” when saying “have a nice evening” and deliberately touching her hand were also dismissed as lacking evidence and sexual intent.
Presented as evidence, the email from Mr Goulandris read:
“Can you please complete the following:
The solution us currently used by xx Agris companies and yy Barge lines in corn cargoes in south-north flows in the ???? waterways.
Also, can you remind me of what the balance of the rollout will be and the approx. timing.
Ms Gasparova, argued that email correspondences contained veiled indications of a desire for sexual encounters as she believed that “xx” represented kisses, “yy” alluded to sexual contact, and “????” hinted at when she would be ready for such acts.
The tribunal panel determined that the email was a legitimate request for information and did not imply any sexual nature.
During the proceedings, Ms Gasparova described Mr Goulandris as her “rich and powerful” boss and suggested that a person in his position “would be more discreet in making advances”.
She submitted a formal grievance letter against him but subsequently resigned after it was rejected.
The tribunal panel concluded that Ms Gasparova’s claims were based on a “skewed perception of everyday events” and lacked substantiating evidence.
It noted her tendency to “make extraordinary allegations without proper support”.
As a result, her allegations of sexual harassment, discrimination, and unfair dismissal were rejected, and she was ordered to pay £5,000 in costs to essDOCS, BBC reported.