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Woman sues boss for sexual harassment after thinking ‘xx’ in emails were kisses

Woman sues boss for sexual harassment after thinking ‘xx’ in emails were kisses

Karina Gasparova sued her boss Aleksander Goulandris for alleged sexual harassment

A woman sued her boss for alleged sexual harassment after thinking ‘xx’ in his emails were code for kisses.

IT project manager Karina Gasparova thought Alexander Goulandris was allegedly sending her signals by including his initials 'AJG' in emails, which she believed to be an acronym for 'A Jumbo Genital'.

Gasparova - who had been working for paperless documents firm, essDOCS since November 2019 - also accused the company's co-head and former CEO Goulandris of behaving inappropriately towards her during face-to-face and online interactions.

Alexander Goulandris.
YouTube / Financial IT

During an incident in November 2019, Gasparova told an employment tribunal in London that the CEO allegedly touched her leg with his leg under the table and 'stared at her' which left her feeling 'anxious and uncomfortable'.

However, it was found that the leg touching was accidental and 'innocuous'.

In the lawsuit, Gaspraova alleged Goulandris 'constantly ran his hand through his hair' and gave her 'leering looks' during an online work call.

The conversation between the workers was said to have been dragged out and she interpreted this as Goulandris 'trying to chat her up'.

Gasparova also thought that Goulandris’ use of question marks in emails marked 'xx' 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.

An IT worker sued her boss for sexual harassment after thinking ‘xx’ in his emails were code for wanting kisses.
Tony Tallec / Alamy Stock Photo

Employment 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'.

The judge 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.”

In April 2021, the worker submitted a detailed grievance, which resulted in her sexual harassment allegations being dismissed.

She appealed the decision in May 2021 but it was again rejected.

Gaspraova resigned from the company and was made to pay out £5,000 to essDOCS in costs due to failure to comply with parts of the tribunal procedures.

Featured Image Credit: YouTube / Financial IT / Tony Tallec / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: UK News, Life