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Woman sues boss for harassment after mistaking 'xx' in his emails for kisses

Woman sues boss for harassment after mistaking 'xx' in his emails for kisses

A judge has ruled on a woman's sexual harassment lawsuit against her boss.

A judge has ruled on a woman's sexual harassment lawsuit against her boss.

IT project manager Karina Gaspraova started working for paperless documents firm, essDOCS, in November 2019.

She later accused the company's co-head and former CEO Alexander Goulandris of sexual harassment, accusing her employer of behaving inappropriately towards her during online - as well as face-to-face - interactions.

A judge has ruled on a woman's sexual harassment lawsuit against her boss.
Panther Media GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo

In the lawsuit, Gaspraova alleged Goulandris 'constantly ran his hand through his hair' and gave her 'leering looks' during a work call in March 2020.

Despite the topic of the call being about work, Gaspraova argued the discussion was dragged out and that she interpreted this as Goulandris 'trying to chat her up'.

The project manager told an employment tribunal in London that Goulandris’ use of question marks in emails marked 'xx' - which she assumed were kisses - were code for a sexual proposition.

The email in question saw Goulandris asking Gaspraova for information on a project and, in indicating the details he needed, the boss used XX, YY and ???? in the message, written in red.

Gaspraova reportedly interpreted the xs as kisses, the ys as some form of sexual contact and the question marks as an inquiry into when she would be 'ready to engage in sexual acts'.

Gaspraova went on to claim that when her boss renamed a work file with his initials 'ajg' - it was actually an acronym for 'A Jumbo Genital'.

The tribunal has ruled Alexander Goulandris' behaviour to be 'innocuous'.
YouTube/Financial IT

The tribunal also heard how Gaspraova told bosses she thought Goulandris wanted to have a sexual relationship with her and was treating her poorly because she 'rejected his advances'.

Gaspraova argued that Goulandris was a 'rich and powerful man' and his behaviour was deliberately not 'overt' was 'a man in his position would be too clever' to make such obvious advances in the workplace.

Other work-related incidents included accusations that Goulandris touched Gaspraova's leg under a table and 'stared at her' which left her feeling 'anxious and uncomfortable'.

However, while the tribunal ruled that the 2019 incident did in fact happen, they found the leg touching to have been accidental and 'innocuous'.

Many other of Gaspraova's allegations were met with the same ruling with the panel ultimately finding that her case was 'rested on interpreting seemingly innocent interactions'.

Judge Emma Burns has since dismissed the sexual harassment claim and declared the woman had a 'skewed perception of everyday events' and regularly misinterpreted 'innocent' interactions as having a 'sinister motive'.

Burns said that Gaspraova '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'.

Gaspraova was also made to pay out a hefty £5,000 to essDOCS in costs.

Featured Image Credit: Financial IT / YouTube / Panther Media GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Sex and Relationships, Technology, UK News, Crime