Misinterpreted Email Abbreviations: IT Employee’s Lawsuit Dismissed Over Alleged Sexual Advances
Lawsuit Dismissed: IT Employee’s Misunderstanding of Email Abbreviations
Allegations of Sexual Advances Based on Misinterpreted Codes
An IT worker in England, Karina Gasparova, attempted to sue her former boss, Alexander Goulandris, for sexual harassment and discrimination. Gasparova claimed that she believed certain email abbreviations used by Goulandris, such as “xx” and “???”, were hidden requests for a sexual relationship. However, her case was thrown out by a judge after an employment tribunal at London Central Court heard her claims.
Misunderstood Communication: Emails as Evidence
Gasparova, representing herself, pointed to specific emails as evidence of Goulandris’ alleged intentions. She argued that “xx” indicated a desire to kiss, “???” was a coded inquiry about engaging in a sexual relationship, and “yy” represented sexual contact. One email cited in court mentioned a solution used by various companies and requested information about the rollout, with no sexual connotation intended.
Court Ruling: Genuine Request for Information
The tribunal concluded that the email in question was a legitimate request for information, dismissing any insinuation of Goulandris seeking a sexual relationship. The judge ruled that Gasparova’s interpretation of the email abbreviations was inaccurate and that they were not intended as coded sexual messages.
Additional Claims and Tribunal Ruling
Gasparova also alleged that Goulandris changed a file name to his initials, “AJG,” which stood for “A Jumbo Genital.” She further claimed that he touched her hand while reaching for a computer mouse and used an alluring voice to wish her a pleasant evening. The tribunal deemed the incidents as innocuous or accidental, leading to the dismissal of the case. The judge noted that Gasparova’s skewed perception of everyday events and tendency to make extraordinary allegations without evidence played a role in the ruling.
Rejection of Advances and Outcome
Gasparova informed company authorities that she believed Goulandris mistreated her due to her refusal of his advances. She filed a formal grievance in April 2021 but resigned after her complaint was rejected.