In this age of easily hurt feelings and heightened sensitivity to just about everything, it's nice to see a common sense decision in an employment case. The Tenth Circuit just ruled - brace yourself - that a supervisor who "set goals and deadlines for an ongoing project, requested that [an employee] 1) keep track of her daily activities in fifteen-minute intervals for seven days, 2) work in her cubicle so [the supervisor] could more closely supervise her, and 3) inform [the supervisor] of dates she would be out of the office" did not constructively discharge the employee she was managing. Turnwall v. Trust Co. of America, No. 04-1303 (10th Cir. 2005). . . .Yes, you are blessed. I speak from experience. The experience of putting up with workplace whiners like Ms. Turnwall, and the experience of having been backed up by the Eastern District of Virigina whenever one of those whiners went to court.
Thankfully, the Tenth Circuit held that the working conditions weren't objectively intolerable, and that there was no outrageous conduct, so they got it right. But what does this lawsuit say about the average supervisor's ability to manage an employee who admittedly had problems prioritizing her work? Goal setting and regular monitoring of progress are textbook management techniques, and were perfectly appropriate under these circumstances. Nevertheless, the employer here had to defend a federal lawsuit, and a subseqent appeal, at no small cost, essentially because somebody couldn't handle criticism from a supervisor.
We are blessed with excellent Federal Judges here in the Eastern District of Virginia. . . .
Thursday, November 17, 2005
I was thinking earlier today about the prevalance of whining in the workplace. Then I came across this, from Suits in the Workplace: An Employment Law Blog: