Monday, October 17, 2005

Some things just aren't funny

For Susan Medeiros, not only did her co-worker think her joke wasn't funny; the joke resulted in getting her fired.

A co-worker working at Medeiros' restaurant was unhappy with the work schedule and complained, resulting in the change of many other workers' schedules.

Medeiros, a senior hostess, approached the co-worker from behind, placed her hands around her neck and shook her lightly while laughingly saying, "It's all because of you."

The co-worker reported the incident to a manager. Medeiros was fired.

When Medeiros filed for unemployment benefits, she was turned down. Medeiros sued.

Held the Hawaii Supreme Court: Medeiros' employer had a zero-tolerance policy against violence in the workplace that Medeiros was aware of, and so she should not have even joked about assaulting a worker. Consequently, her unemployment benefits were rightfully denied.

Case: Medeiros vs. Hawai'i Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, September 1, 2005

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