We’ll never look at a Subway® meatball sandwich the same way again. The Iowa Court of Appeals dismissed a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by a “sandwich artist” at a Subway shop. The plaintiff, an older female, alleged that her teenage co-workers made obscene shapes out of doughnut holes and the ground beef used for meatball sandwiches. We don’t condone the whippersnappers’ creative use of food products, mind you, but the court found that their activity was not unwelcome to the plaintiff and that she had resigned because she was denied a promotion, not because of the alleged harassment.

Can’t stop talking without use of articles. Please help. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals (Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee) affirmed dismissal of privacy and due process claims by a police officer after the police department released portions of his personnel file to the public. The controversy began after the officer was caught on tape shooting and killing a family’s dog. Now, here’s what happened: Family stops for gas. Dad accidentally leaves wallet on top of car. Car drives away, with money flying around. Officers stop car for suspected armed robbery. Officers order family out of car, handcuffing family while they kneel on ground. Friendly family dog jumps out of car and runs toward officers, wagging friendly little tail. Plaintiff shoots dog with shotgun from one foot away. Dog dies instantly. Incident is on tape. Media uproar ensues. Court finds that police department is immune from suit because officer himself had already released much of “private” information in personnel file.

“Do you have any idea what kind of a headache that Stairmaster can give ya?” The First Circuit (Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Puerto Rico) affirmed summary judgment for an employer who terminated an employee while he was on FMLA leave for migraine headaches. The employee had applied for short-term disability benefits, claiming that he could not perform any activities while suffering from a migraine. A private investigator caught him driving, shopping, and going to the gym on days that he was allegedly home with a migraine.


Never mind. The EEOC and the National Education Association have announced a joint initiative to raise teens’ awareness about workplace discrimination issues. Somehow, it doesn’t seem that “awareness about discrimination” is our nation’s most burning educational need. Those sorry kids would be much better off worrying less about their legal rights and more about acquiring a work ethic. I hear that Subway hires teens – uh – oh. We-ellllll, maybe the EEOC-NEA thing isn’t such a bad idea, after all.

“Uncool” is synonym for “older,” judge finds. A federal judge in Michigan has ruled that a 46-year-old radio producer was discriminated against because of his age when he was not hired for a “drive-time” show. The interviewer, who selected a 24-year-old, said that the plaintiff was unfamiliar with pop culture and that there were concerns about his ability to relate to a younger audience.

So, now, lying about sexual harassment is “protected activity”? Oy, vey! The Eighth Circuit (Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, the Dakotas) has held that a governmental agency unlawfully retaliated against an employee by terminating him for having falsely accused two co-workers of sexual harassment.

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