- Reason Prevails...And Reason Flails
- August 20, 2013
- Law Firm: Constangy Brooks Smith LLP - Atlanta Office
Blue states. A couple of real you-know-whats got their retaliation lawsuits tossed, and they have no one to blame but themselves. In the first case, the employee was caught sending an email to a co-worker calling a supervisor a series of names that we are too delicate to reproduce here. (Hint: The names were a creative combination of synonym for “donkey” and a four-letter vulgarity meaning “to make love.”) A federal court in New Jersey had no trouble granting summary judgment to this guy’s employer, even though the employee had engaged in some significant protected activity. In the second case, the employee had filed a charge against his employer (he was still employed), and the parties had an EEOC mediation. Although the parties were supposed to stay in separate rooms, after the employer made an offer that the employee could refuse, he barged into the employer’s room and told them that they could take their offer and . . . well, you get it. He was fired shortly thereafter. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin) affirmed summary judgment for the employer, noting that although the employee had the right to file a charge and to pursue mediation, he didn’t have to right to tell his employer to shove it.
Owwwww! *hic* A longshoreman fell and was injured after he’d had, during the work day, 10 beers and a half pint of whiskey . . . and he had marijuana in his bloodstream. (Other than that, he was a sober as a judge.) The applicable law, the federal Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, provides that no compensation is available if the accident was “occasioned solely by the intoxication of the employee.” When the employee was taken to the hospital after his accident, he had a blood alcohol level of a whopping 0.25. Even the usually-not-too-employer-friendly U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands) had to find in favor of the employer in this case
AND REASON FLAILS...
What’s the big deal? A four-year-old won’t even know what “necrophiliac” means! In a Chicago-area strike of Teamsters-represented funeral directors (aren’t funeral directors “management”?) against funeral home management company SCI, the directors allegedly used abominable tactics, disrupting several real funerals, and allegedly using a bullhorn to accuse an SCI general manager of being a necrophiliac . . . in the presence of two little boys who were attending their grandmother’s funeral. Nice. (The union denied it, but the Illinois Appellate Court granted SCI’s request for a temporary restraining order.)