It is in your nature to be fired, ya big busybody. A federal court in New York upheld the termination of an employee of a brokerage firm who was terminated for accessing her co-workers’ confidential information without a valid reason. “It is in my nature to be curious,” said the plaintiff. She claimed that she was terminated because of her race and age.
It’s not fair, I tell ya! You don’t fire your young thieves! A federal court in Kansas dismissed the age discrimination claim of a mechanic who was fired at age 51 for stealing from his employer.
No First Amendment right for cops to sport Aryan Nation tattoos. Five police officers in the City of Hartford had spider web tattoos on their arms. The police department learned that the spider webs were symbols of the Aryan Nation, and asked the officers to cover their tattoos while on duty. The federal court in Connecticut found that the police department had not violated the officers’ due process rights. Even if the officers had not realized that the tattoos were racist, the court said, the city had a rational basis for believing that the tattoos, if displayed, would inflame racial tension.
Elimination of “Motown Monday” is not race discrimination. And complaining about it is not “protected activity,” either, said an eminently sensible federal court in Pennsylvania. By the way, did we mention that the plaintiff in this case was white?
Violent union member actually loses job! This column, alas, frequently features labor arbitrators who return violent employees to work. Well, here is some good news — a court in Rhode Island had the guts to overturn an arbitrator’s decision reinstating an employee who had disappeared from his job for several months and, while away, made several threats against his employer and his boss — a Catholic priest. The judge said, “This court refuses to endorse [the] arbitrator’s ‘ostrich’ mentality towards dangerous and abusive workplace behavior whereby serious threats of violence or intimidation are minimized or ignored rather than dealt with decisively before a tragedy occurs.” If you’ll pardon the pun, AMEN, Judge Porcaccini!
Nice bank. A bank teller was fired, allegedly for lending $10 of her own money to a homeless man while she was off duty. A federal court in New York, probably correctly, found that the evidence of an alleged policy violation was sparse, and the employee claimed that she was really fired because she was an ordained minister and pastor. The court allowed the employee’s religious discrimination claim to go forward, while dismissing a number of her other claims.
Nice boss. A court in Montana correctly held that it was quid pro quo sexual harassment in violation of the state Human Rights Act for a motel manager to tell a 16-year-old girl applying for a maid position that prostitution would be one of her—ahem—“deliverables.” (In fairness to this manager who deserves none, it should be noted that the girl was not blameless—she apparently cooperated until her mom found out and called the police.)
Grrrrrr . . . A federal court in Virginia, applying California law, held that a complaint about the death of a lion in the circus could form the basis of a wrongful discharge/public policy claim. The public policy arose from California’s laws against animal cruelty and the federal Animal Welfare Act.
“ Winning” is not a legitimate job expectation for a coach, court finds. A hockey coach with a five-year contract providing for termination only for “cause” was held to be entitled to keep his job despite an 18-35 win-loss record, and a “gate” decline to about 1,000 fans per game; followed by a 1-6 win-loss record the next season. To be enforceable, the majority said, the contract would have to require a specific win-loss expectation.
More from the totally messed-up “religious discrimination” front. A federal jury in Texas awarded $35,000 to an employee of a public school system who was denied a promotion to assistant principal because her two kids go to private religious school. No disrespect to private religious schools, but doesn’t it seem that the public school system ought to be able to expect its administrators to send their kids to public schools?