A Kentucky man who was sacked days after he stormed his workplace in an unpleasant birthday party last month was paid $ 450,000 by a jury for lost wages and emotional distress.
The man, Kevin Berling, was working in a medical lab, Gravity Diagnostics, Covington, KY. Yep, about 10 months later, when he told the office manager he didn’t throw a birthday party that he had anxiety disorders, according to a lawsuit. Was arraigned in Kenton County Circuit Court of Kentucky.
Mr Burling’s lawyer, Tony Boucher, said the party was planned by other employees while the office manager was away and the situation was rapidly out of control.
Mr Burling had a horrific attack when he learned of a planned lunchtime celebration, which included a birthday party from colleagues and a banner decorating the break room. Mr Burling opted to spend his lunch break in his car.
The next day, Mr. Burling met with two supervisors in a panic attack, whom he described as his “harsh attitude”, Mr Boucher said. He was fired three days later in an email suggesting that Mr Burling was a threat to the safety of his fellow workers.
In a court filing, the company said he fired Mr Burling because he was “violent” at the meeting and frightened the supervisors, who sent him home for the day, took his key fob and alerted security officials. That he was not allowed. to return.
One month after the meeting, in September 2019, Mr. Burling sued the company for disability discrimination.
After a two-day trial, a jury reached a verdict on March 31, concluding that Mr Burling had experienced a poor employment process due to disability. The judges awarded him $ 150,000 in lost wages and benefits and $ 300,000 in distress, embarrassment and loss of self-esteem.
The judge in the case has not yet filed any decision regarding the decision, reported by local news website LINK nky.
John Miley, a lawyer for Gravity Diagnostics, said on Saturday that the company later challenged the litigation grounds on a legal basis and emphasized that a judge had breached court rules to seek information outside the trial.
Mr Melee said the case could not meet the criteria for a disability claim because Mr Burling had never disclosed to the company his problems and had not met the legal threshold for being disabled.
Mr Melee said the company had the right to be fired, Mr Burling – a lab technician whose job position was favorable, meaning he could be fired for any legal reason – because he had his head down. , His face was red and he had ordered his supervisors to keep quiet in the meeting, frightening them.
“They were in awe of the moment’s physical damage,” Julie Brazil, founder of Core Diagnostics and chief operating officer, said on Saturday. “They’re both worried about it today.”
Mr Butcher said the company’s reaction was to Mr Mr Burling’s attempt to calm himself during a panic attack when a supervisor criticized his reaction to the party.
Mr Burling told them to stop talking and used the technique of physical confrontation, including a movement in which Mr Boucher described that his head was closed but “around his chest, locked in a kind, almost to himself.” Wear the lace
Mr. Burling was sent home for the remainder of the work day and the next day. Hours after meeting, at home, he texted a supervisor to apologize for his panic attack, according to the complaint.
Earlier this week, Mr Boucher said, Mr Burling had received “excellent” monthly comments. The company said it had never received a negative review, nor had it been disciplined, according to court documents.
Mr Burling is happy with his new job at a school, Mr Boucher said, and although his horrific attacks have increased in frequency since this week in 2019, they have slowly declined.
According to the American Anxiety and Depression Association, anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorder in the United States, and they affect an estimated 40 million adults in the country each year.
Basma Anwar, a mental health consultant with Therapy AppTaskSpace, said in an email that it is a good idea for people who experience anxiety disorders and panic attacks to talk to a work supervisor on issues that help. Which can be a source when the employee is struggling.
Ms Anwar said problems at the job could be a result of workload and social pressure.
“Social anxiety can also arise in the workplace when managers and co-workers are expected to interact,” Ms Anwar said. “If an employee is uncomfortable and feels anxious by attending a birthday party or other party in his honor, then they should be allowed to get out.”