Well, it’s that time of year again – what are you thankful for? Here are some Human Resources and employment law matters for which I am thankful. Please feel free to add your own in the comments.
I’m thankful that I’m not Trey Gowdy. The Republican Congressman from South Carolina and chair of the House Benghazi Committee is not out, but he’s definitely down — for the moment. He’s been sued, along with the Committee, by a former staffer, Air Force Reserve Maj. Bradley Podliska, who claims he was wrongfully discharged because of his military service obligation and because he refused to sufficiently target Hillary Clinton and the State Department. Rep. Gowdy and others on the Committee say that it was actually the opposite – that Maj. Podliska was the one who was obsessed with Mrs. Clinton and that the Committee had to tell him to back off. So, of course, the Major’s lawsuit includes a claim against Rep. Gowdy for defamation. Apparently this is the new thing — you make public allegations against someone, and when they say anything bad about you in defending themselves, you sue them for defamation. (But unlike Bill Cosby, Rep. Gowdy may be able to assert a “truth” defense.) To Maj. Podliska’s credit, the only thing he wants for the alleged defamation is a retraction and an apology – no money. Should be interesting. (NOTE: It’s too early to call anyone in this story a “turkey,” but somebody probably is.)
I’m thankful that I’m not the person who writes help-wanted ads for Vestra Inet of Toronto. The company came under well-deserved fire for putting the following in a help-wanted ad for a writer/SEO specialist: “Please note that the Position requires filling in the responsibilities [sic] of a receptionist, so female candidates are preferred.” (Emphasis added.) After the usual cyber-indignation was expressed, the company took down the ad and made kind of a non-apology apology.
I’m thankful that I am not the HR manager of these two people. A female, known only as “Christina,” announced her pregnancy on Facebook. How sweet. Then a male co-worker decided to offer his own greeting, which got more than 100 “likes”:
“Congratulations, Christina, I know you and Mark will be very happy. I hope that now that you’re pregnant, . . . you stop coming into my office offering sexual favors, just because I drunkenly slept with you at the retreat. It was a mistake. A huge mistake. . . . So while I congratulate you for bringing a child onto this earth, I also pray that this ends your psychotic, one-sided love affair with me. I also hope that your husband is smart enough to know that IT COULD BE ANYONE’S KID.”
This was the part that I could repeat. It gets worse. Was this a prank? If so, it wasn’t very nice.
If Christina really is “psychotic,” why is this guy rattling her cage now that she’s pregnant and has moved on? Sounds to me like he may be the one with an obsession.
Christina, meanwhile, has reportedly taken down her Facebook profile.
Is Christina being sexually harassed and discriminated against because of her pregnancy? Is her male co-worker a stalker, or is he a victim of Christina’s sexual harassment? HR emergency!!!
I’m thankful that I am not a kid in this woman’s class. A substitute teacher assigned to Washington Elementary school in Oklahoma was arrested for a DWI on the way to school one morning. She appeared this week on Dr. Phil to claim that she was not intoxicated (even though she was on video admitting to the cops that she’d been drinking). Dr. Phil’s crew caught her on camera at the hotel on the morning of the show drinking a glass of wine before her interview. Oops.
OK, now here are some things I really am thankful for . . .
*I’m thankful that Mark Zuckerberg is taking paternity leave and setting a great example for dads (and moms) everywhere.
*I’m thankful for my family, my friends, and my firm.
*I’m thankful for you. For all of our readers, commenters, email correspondents, tweeters, and “lurkers.” Thank you very much for reading this blog, and I hope you’ll stay with us for another year. Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!
(Because of the holiday, there will be no post on Friday.)