Wins $450,000 in a lawsuit against his employer after they celebrated his birthday at work (even though he asked them not to)

A man brought his employer to justice and won $450,000 in damages after his co-workers threw a birthday party for him, even though he asked them not to.

The case dates back to 2019, when Kevin Berling, who worked at the Gravity Diagnostics company in the city of Covington, in the state of Kentucky (USA), told his colleagues not to celebrate his birthday. The man pointed out that being the center of attention caused him a lot of stress. However, the company ignored his request, and Berling suffered an anxiety attack.

After that, her supervisor yelled at her and reprimanded her for “steal the joy“of his companions and”be a little girl“. The man had another panic attack, this time so strong that he closed his eyes, clenched his fist and turned red, he details The Courier-Journal. The company dismissed to Berling, arguing that it made his colleagues feel threatened.

The former employee filed a lawsuit against Gravity Diagnostics, alleging that the company discriminated against him because of his condition and retaliated against him for demanding a reasonable adjustment to his illness, he picks up the medium. In addition, he found during the trial that he was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder at age 17, and recently with a panic disorder.

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A Kenton County Jury ruled in favor of Berling on March 31 of this year and ruled that the company pay $300,000 for emotional distress and 150,000 more for wage losses. The ruling came into force on April 5, but it has only now captured the attention of the media.

For her part, the founder of the company, Julie Brazil, stated that the company will contest the verdict based on “the misconduct of the jury that violates the orders of the judge of first instance”, specifies Link NKY.

In addition, he stressed that this judicial decision “sets a very dangerous precedent for employers and, above all, for employees, in the sense that, unless there is actual physical violence, violence in the workplace is acceptable.” According to Brazil, it is the company’s employees who are the real victims and not the litigant.

company version

According to the defendant, on August 2, 2019, Berling asked his colleague Allison Wimmers, chief of staff at Gravity Diagnostics, not to host the festivities. However, the woman forgot the order and five days later the colleagues wished him a happy birthday.

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The man went to his car, where he had a panic attack. Returning to work, he complained about the neglect of his plea in an email to Wimmers.

The next day, he arrived at work and was summoned by his supervisor, who wanted to make sure he was okay. As soon as the match began, Berling turned “very red” and “he commanded silence, as he stirredAccording to company data, the boss and other supervisors thought the man was going to hit them.

Berling’s behavior got him banned from the office. Brazil then made the decision to fire him, based on a zero-tolerance policy for employees who physically threaten their colleagues.