A tech worker allegedly tried to sue her ex-boss because she misunderstood his usage of email abbreviations like “xx” and “???” as sexual relationship requests.
An IT worker with a paperless global commerce management company essDOCS named Karina Gasparova has launched a discrimination and sexual harassment case against her supervisor, detailing specific incidents as far back as 2019.
The IT worker said that her supervisor’s (Alexander Goulandris) usage of “xx” in his emails to her constituted attempts to kiss her, that “yy” meant sexual intercourse, and that “???” told Goulandris wanted to know “when she would be ready” for a sexual connection.
Gasparova, who was self-represented, used an email to support her claim that Goulandris wanted to “engage in sexual acts.”
An example of what Gasparova thought was sexual advances was this innocuous email seeking clarification:
I need your help finishing this sentence: Corn shipments traveling south-to-north on the??? Canals benefit from this approach, which is already in use by xx Agris firms and yy Barge lines.
The tribunal found the email to be a “genuine request for information” and not suggestive of sexual interest on Goulandris’ part.
Gasparova stated that when Goulandris renamed a file to his initials (AJG), the file referred to “A Jumbo Genital” and that he accidentally touched her hand while reaching for the mouse. She said that in November of 2019, Goulandris told her to “have a nice evening” in “an alluring voice,” “stared at her,” and reportedly touched her leg under a table.
The 2019 occurrence was deemed “innocuous” and accidental by the tribunal. Based on Gasparova’s “skewed perception of everyday events” and “demonstrated tendency to make extraordinary allegations without evidence,” the judge threw out the case, as reported by the BBC.
According to Gasparova’s testimony before the tribunal, she informed corporate executives that Goulandris treated her cruelly after she “rejected his advances.
Gasparova was fined $6,200 to compensate essDOCS’s legal fees.