United States: The court orders the company to pay the employee $ 450,000 for failed birthdays

Kevin Berling, who says he was suffering from anxiety, had already warned his superiors at Gravity Diagnostics that he did not want to celebrate his birthday, explaining that the date evoked bad memories of his parents ’divorce, according to court documents.

However, on a lunch break on August 7, 2019, Berling was surprised by a “happy birthday” greetings and a poster written for the occasion at a break room in the company’s Kentucky state.

In response, the employee went to his car, where he said he had a panic attack.

The next day, in a meeting with his boss and another colleague to discuss what had happened, Berling “attacked both of them orally, squeezing his fists and teeth, red on his face and trembling,” asking the woman “quietly.” said John Maley, a lawyer at Gravity Diagnostics, in an email to AFP.

The supervisor and another employee present “feared for their safety,” Maley added, prompting the company to dismiss Berling. Prior to this incident, however, the employee had never received any punishment or warnings for his conduct.

To overturn the dismissal, Berling sued Gravity Diagnostics for “disability discrimination,” where he received a $ 150,000 compensation order for lost earnings and $ 300,000 for humiliation, loss of self-esteem, and suffering at the end of March.

The company, which denies all discrimination and claims it was not told about the employee’s anxiety problems, is filing a complaint, Maley explained. “Employers, especially in this time of workplace violence, have a right and must take immediate action, as in this case, to protect their employees,” the lawyer said.

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