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Woman Sues Her Boss for Mentioning ‘XX’ in Mails for Kisses, Loses in Court

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Published on: 19 May 2023 at 16:12 IST

In an official email, a supervisor wrote a certain message (“xx”), which led to one of his employees filing a lawsuit against him for sexual harassment based on the content of that email. Karina Gasparova, an IT worker and project manager at essDOCS, a company specializing in “paperless trade solutions” with an office in London, took legal action against her boss, Alexander Goulandris.

She accused him of sexual harassment, discrimination, and wrongful termination, bringing the case before an employment tribunal.

The following is the exact text of the email sent by Mr. Goulandris to Karina, which was presented as evidence during the proceedings at the employment tribunal:

“Can you please complete the following:

The solution us currently used by xx Agris companies and yy Barge lines in corn cargoes in south-north flows in the ???? waterways.

Also, can you remind me of what the balance of the rollout will be and the approx. timing.


During the proceedings, Ms. Gasparova attributed specific meanings to the letters “xx” (kisses), “yy” (sexual contact), and “????” (a veiled question about engaging in sexual acts) in the email. She claimed that her boss had shown aggression towards her because he desired a sexual relationship, which she had declined.

However, after a comprehensive review of the case and the evidence presented, the employment tribunal at London Central Court found that Ms. Gasparova’s perception of events was distorted. Employment Judge Emma Burns, as quoted by The Independent, stated that they rejected Ms. Gasparova’s account due to several reasons. They believed that her interpretation of ordinary work-related interactions was skewed, as she made extraordinary allegations without supporting evidence and contradicted herself in a manner inconsistent with typical lapses in memory.

The tribunal concluded that Ms. Gasparova had attributed a sinister intent to Mr. Goulandris’ innocent and accidental conduct, which was solely related to work matters.

Furthermore, as part of the tribunal’s ruling, Ms. Gasparova was required to pay a significant sum of £5,000 (Rs. 513,012) to essDOCS.