August 22, 2019

August 22, 2019

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August 21, 2019

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August 20, 2019

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Employee’s Discrimination Claim for Depression, Stress Barred for His Violent Threats

A metal casting company lawfully terminated an employee for his threats of violence to other employees, despite a claim that his depression/stress made him do it, the federal appeals court covering Oregon and Washington has ruled, upholding the dismissal of the employee’s disability discrimination lawsuit. Mayo v. PCC Structurals, Inc.

The employee made five specific threats to kill supervisors. These threats made him unqualified for his job as a welder, regardless of his disability, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held. The decision is a victory for common sense. The same court on three prior occasions has ruled against employers in similar disability-caused misconduct cases. However, the Mayo court said those cases were different, and gave employers a helpful rationale for future cases: “An essential function of almost every job is the ability to appropriately handle stress and interact with others.”

Employers, nonetheless, must tread lightly when disciplining an employee who claims a disability caused bad behavior or lack of performance. Every situation presents unique challenges.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2019

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Michael Griffin, Jackson Lewis, Leave Health Management coordinator, Labor Disability lawyer,
Principal and Office Litigation Manager

Michael A. Griffin is a Principal and Office Litigation Manager in the Seattle, Washington, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He is also the Disability, Leave and Health Management coordinator for the Seattle, Washington, and Portland, Oregon, offices, and he is the Litigation Manager for the Seattle, Washingon, office.

Mr. Griffin has a broad area of practice and responsibility with the firm. He acts as lead counsel on all aspects of employment litigation, including defending discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and...

206-626-6416
Bryan P. O'Connor, Jackson Lewis, gender discrimination lawsuits lawyer, sexual harassment attorney
Office Managing Principal

Bryan P. O’Connor is the Office Managing Principal in the Seattle, Washington, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has practiced labor and employment law his entire legal career.

Mr. O'Connor serves in many different capacities depending upon client needs. He has advised and represented both large and small employers in all aspects of traditional labor law across numerous industries, including construction, manufacturing, retail, health care, utility, food distribution, and government-related services. His roles include advising and representing management in union organizing campaigns, elections and unfair labor practice proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board, other legal proceedings before federal and state courts, and other administrative agencies. He has served as a chief spokesperson and advisor for numerous employers involved in collective bargaining and contract administration, including grievance processing and arbitrations.

206-405-0404
Sarah J. Ryan, Jackson Lewis Law Firm, Labor Employment Attorney
Principal

Sarah J. Ryan is a Principal in the Portland, Oregon, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She joined Jackson Lewis in late 2012 following over 25 years of employment and litigation practice in Portland, Oregon. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Ryan chaired the Labor and Employment law practice group at a regional firm with four offices in three states.

Ms. Ryan represents some of Oregon’s leading employers and provides counsel and litigation services in general employment law, as well as a wide range of employee relations issues. Ms...

503-345-4162
Christine A. Slattery, Jackson Lewis Law Firm, Litigation Attorney
Associate

Christine A. Slattery is an Associate in the Portland, Oregon, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She provides counsel and litigation services in general employment law.

Ms. Slattery litigates single plaintiff and class action lawsuits in state and federal court regarding harassment, discrimination and retaliation, breach of contract, wrongful termination, Title VII, ADA, ADEA, employment torts, wage and hour compliance, and state and federal family medical leave laws. Ms. Slattery also appears before administrative agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity...

503-345-4161