We can’t think of the last time we agreed with an employment law decision out of the 5th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals in Louisiana.  Indeed, we often wonder whether it is still angry over the Emancipation Proclamation, giving women the right to vote, and virtually all statutory employee rights. We were reminded of its anti-employee, knuckle-dragging approach to the law when we read its most recent employee-rights proclamation.  It seems the employee suffers from a disability that causes her to sleepwalk. So, one night while off-site at a training conference, she got up, left her room, walked to a co-worker’s room, knocked, was let in, and promptly got into his bed. The room’s occupant called security and got her safely back to her own room. Everyone agreed she was sleepwalking and that was due to a disability.  Consequently, when her employer fired her, she filed suit claiming disability discrimination. It seemed like a slam-dunk win for her, e.g., no dispute she is disabled or that it caused the sleepwalking, it occurred outside duty hours, no one was harmed, etc. But the good old boys and gals at the 5th Circuit, still reliving the pre-Civil War glory days and led by the Bible-slinging Supreme Court Justice Alito, upheld her termination by…

deciding that the employer did not fire her because of her disability, but because of what she did while disabled. So, we assume that if an employee suffers an epileptic fit at work and knocks a cup of coffee over on to a laptop, thereby ruining it, he can be fired for destruction of property; or if a wheel-chair bound worker marks up a wall with her wheel-chair she can also be tossed out the door; and a blind person knocks over a lamp while moving about can be terminated. Here is a link to a story about the case (and the case itself) if you want to read more.

About AdminUN

FEDSMILL staff has over 40 years of federal sector labor relations experience on the union as well as management side of the table and even some time as a neutral.
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3 Responses to

  1. Dan Long says:

    It’s a shame that Fedsmill’s commentary didn’t have such a bite back when the government was forcing it’s employees to take an experimental vaccine that doesn’t work and has had horrible side effects for some…

  2. Chris Findlay says:

    Bringing the Bible into your statement is inappropriate on its face along with the tone disparaging the “good old boys” of the South is offensive.

    • AdminUN says:

      It was Alito who brought the bible into legal decisions. I did not slam all southerners nor even a single soul outside the members of the Oil & Gas circuit court. When that court starts to treat people as something other than chattel, I will change my opinion of it.

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