Employee Declined Work Birthday Party Is Awarded $450,000

Have you ever been given a birthday party at work? Cake, booze and cards always make us feel better having to work on our birthday! Kevin Berling was on the job at Gravity Diagnostics a few years ago when he told his manager he didn't want a party b/c it would trigger a panic attack. His boss should have respected his wish and been the end of the story. They surprised Kevin with a party on his birthday anyway! Guess what? He had a panic attack just like he told his boss he would. Same with the next day, another panic attack when he was told he stole the joy that his co-workers would have gotten from throwing him a party. HUH?

We are all cut from a different cloth, have different backgrounds, personalities and life experiences. How difficult would it have been for his company to just not throw a party at work for him? EASY!! Instead Kevin filed a lawsuit saying they discriminated against him based on a disability and then retaliated when asked not to throw him the party. A jury just awarded him $450,000 for "emotional distress" and lost wages. I can't imagine a scenario where my boss would be pissed and seek revenge for my not wanting to celebrate my birthday on the job.