REASON PREVAILS…

If we’re so great, why do we keep getting these cases? A study recently released by the American Bar Association shows that employers win approximately 94.5 percent of lawsuits filed under Title I (the employment provisions) of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“You can’t fire me! I was over 40 when my division lost that $200 million!” The usually-liberal Ninth Circuit (Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Guam, and Northern Mariana Islands) affirms dismissal of an age discrimination suit brought by a former vice president whose division had lost more than $200 million in the approximately five years before he was terminated.

Well, at least we understand why she brought this ridiculous claim. A federal judge in Pennsylvania has held that “blonde discrimination” is not prohibited by Title VII.

Guy with no religion has no religious discrimination claim. The Seventh Circuit (Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin) affirms dismissal of a religious discrimination case, where the plaintiff refused to identify his religion and didn’t even claim to be an atheist.

Vito Corleone held not necessarily representative of Italian-American, Catholic older men. The Third Circuit (Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania) affirms dismissal of a discrimination case, where the evidence showed that the plaintiff referred to his gun and the Mafia in a threatening manner, and played the theme from The Godfather, during a work-related meeting. The plaintiff had claimed he was discriminated against because of his age, his Italian national origin, and his Catholic religion.

“@#$%!!$#% paper, or @#$%@#$% plastic?”: Part Deux. A couple of years ago we reported on a grocery store employee who was terminated because his Tourette’s Syndrome caused him to have offensive outbursts in front of customers. In what appears to be a mini-trend, a federal court in Georgia was recently faced with the same issue, and like the first court, held that the employee was not protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

REASON FLAILS… 

Cussing, ¡no! Forgery, ¡sí! Although involuntary, disability-related cursing at supermarket customers has been held inappropriate and warranting discharge (see above), forgery by able-bodied supermarket employees is apparently fine and dandy. A federal judge in Rhode Island recently enforced an arbitrator’s order reinstating a supermarket employee who forged store customers’ names on public assistance checks.

Flash! Federal judge in Louisiana abolishes statute of limitations! A female firefighter who claimed discriminatory failure to hire may introduce evidence of a consent decree that was 20 years old. (In the court’s defense, it did find that the fire department had made recent, material misrepresentations regarding its compliance with the decree.)

The $64,000 answer. A federal court in Minnesota assessed a $64,000 penalty against an employer for providing a benefits “answer book” to opposing counsel instead of the actual plan document.

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