Office birthday parties are often awkward at best and uncomfortable for people who do not enjoy the spotlight. For one poor employee of Gravity Diagnostics medical lab, it was devastating. Kevin Berling, who suffers from an anxiety disorder, told his manager that he didn’t want a celebration. Being the center of attention could trigger a panic attack. Instead of understanding and honoring his request, they threw him a surprise party which caused him so much stress he had to rush to his car, where he spent the remainder of his lunch break composing himself. The next day his bosses berated him for his reaction, accusing him of stealing his coworkers’ joy. Four days later they fired him on the grounds that they feared he might become violent. He sued and this week was awarded $450,000 for lost wages and emotional distress. Gravity Diagnostics is appealing, Julie Brazil, the founder, and chief operating officer of Gravity Diagnostics, claims it was the other employees who were victimized. I guess they really, REALLY like office parties.
If your Monday is giving you agita, feel free to vent. I promise we won’t have security escort you from the Deadsplinter house.