Court Ruling Will Force Employers to Spank Employees Equally

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If they are to spank at all, anyway (which this attorney does not recommend).

In 2006, a jury in Fresno, California, awarded Janet Orlando about $1.7 million for her claims that she had been spanked at work.  Orlando alleged that her employer, Anaheim-based Alarm One, held "contests" for its sales teams and that members of the losing team were deliberately humiliated.  Workers allegedly were hit with pies, forced to wear diapers and eat baby food, and paddled with the signs of rival companies.

The company described the events as "camaraderie-building exercises."

The jury found for Orlando on claims that included sexual harassment, but that verdict was reversed this week.  The Court of Appeal held on January 14 that the jury had not been instructed that an essential element of the sexual harassment claim was proof that the conduct was directed at a woman because of the fact she is female.

The court noted the company’s argument that it had not based the spankings on whether any employee was male or female, but on the "misguided notion that spanking employees who performed poorly in front of their peers . . . would motivate them (or all the employees) to perform better."  Saying there was at least some evidence in the record to support the view of each side (though there was also evidence Orlando was a spanker and not just a spankee), the court found that the instructional error probably affected the verdict and it remanded for a new trial.

Orlando’s attorney, "Butch" Wagner, said that they would take the case to trial again and might "get more this time."  Alarm One’s attorney, Poncho Baker, wished Wagner "good luck" collecting on any judgment, which (you won’t be surprised to know) he meant sarcastically because, he said, the company has since gone bankrupt.

Link: AP via
Link: Orlando v. Alarm One, Inc.