IT worker loses sex harassment claim after claiming boss's initials stood for 'A Jumbo Genital'

18 May 2023, 15:20 | Updated: 18 May 2023, 15:26

Alexander Goulandris and essDOCS were cleared after Karina Gasparova claimed he had sexual harassed when he signed off emails with his initials.
Alexander Goulandris and essDOCS were cleared after Karina Gasparova claimed he had sexual harassed when he signed off emails with his initials. Picture: LinkedIn/Google Street View

By Chay Quinn

An IT worker who sued a boss for sexual harassment has lost her claim - after spurious claims which included his initials at the end of emails stood for "A Jumbo Genital".

Karina Gasparova also claimed that boss Alexander Goulandris used question marks to request sexual favours and used "xx" to signify sex acts in work communications.

She claimed to a London employment tribunal that her superior was trying to initiate a relationship which at the business and was staring at her while running his hands through his hair suggestively.

The judge-led panel on the case threw the case out of course and said that Ms Gasparova had a skewed perception of everyday events and that Goulandris' intentions were "innocuous".

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Alexander Goulandris&squot;s intentions were "innocuous" towards his subordinate, the tribunal ruled yesterday.
Alexander Goulandris's intentions were "innocuous" towards his subordinate, the tribunal ruled yesterday. Picture: LinkedIn

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Ms Gasparova took e-documents firm essDOCS to a tribunal after a detailed April 2021 complaint of sex harassment, discrimination, and unfair dismissal.

The loss has led to the tribunal ordering her to pay £5,000 in costs for failing to comply with the tribunal procedures in a timely manner.

In one instance submitted to the court, Ms Gasparova said that in November 2019 her boss had stared at her and touched her legs with his leg under the table but the court said this was accidental and not ill-intentioned.

In May 2020, Goulandris renamed a presentation file "ajg" which she posited stood for "A Jumbo Genital" but the tribunal ruled that the term was his initials (his middle name is John).

essDOCS was cleared of wrongdoing in the London employment tribunal
essDOCS was cleared of wrongdoing in the London employment tribunal. Picture: Google Street View

An initial investigation by the employer dismissed the claims and then a subsequent appeal by Ms Gasparova was also rejected in May 2021 - leading to her resignation.

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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