Cyprus Mail

Civil servant awarded ‘moral damages’ in sexual harassment case

Taxpayers will have to foot €22,000 in moral damages awarded to a female civil servant who sued her head of the department for sexual harassment and the state for failing to protect her after the fact.

The application was filed in the Paphos labour court in 2009. It concerned offences committed in the first half of 2006.

The court ruled that the woman had proven sexual harassment had taken place and that she had been intimidated and humiliated in the workplace.

But it did not award any damages for the sexual harassment because three years had passed and the offence had become void due to the civil statute of limitations.

“The application regarding the complaint for sexual harassment that the plaintiff suffered was submitted late, that is, outside the timeframe defined by law,” the court said.

The court did, however, award the woman €22,000 as moral damages over the lack of protection afforded to her after she filed a complaint to her superiors.

It had taken 22 months for her complaint to be examined, during which no protective measures were put in place.

In the meantime, the woman suffered a “psychological war, unequal treatment and bad evaluations”.

The court heard that the attacks against her intensified, with the participation of her colleagues, after she filed the complaint and it continued even after her boss was disciplined by the civil service.

She was even asked to withdraw her complaint.

On October 29, 2008, the civil service commission found the head of the department guilty of sexual harassment and a “source of anomaly and illegality”.

The man was transferred to Limassol and also received a strict reprimand.

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