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For Declined Office Birthday Party Jury Awards $450,000 to Employee

5 Mins read

A Kentucky man asked his employer not to celebrate his birthday at work — and they did it anyway. However, for the declined office birthday party, a Louisville, Kentucky jury awarded him $450,000 after he sued his employer. […]

Kevin Berling told his manager at Gravity Diagnostics in Covington in 2019 that a birthday celebration would cause him immense stress.

But the company didn’t heed his request, and Berling suffered a panic attack, the Courier Journal reported. The next day Berling had another panic attack. According to a lawsuit, this happened when his supervisor chastised him for “stealing his co-workers’” joy and “being a little girl.” Berling was fired after the second attack.

Berling alleged in his lawsuit that the company discriminated against him based on a disability; and retaliated against him for demanding a reasonable accommodation to it.

The jury returned the verdict after a two-day trial in Kenton County that ended in late March. The jury awarded him $300,000 for emotional distress and $150,000 in lost wages.

An attorney for the company, Katherine Kennedy, said it continues to deny liability and is pursuing its post-trial options.

Diversity & Inclusion, Bias and Workplace Violence

Julie Brazil, the company’s founder and chief operating officer, said in an email statement to the newspaper as reported by Chron, that “with ever-increasing incidents of workplace violence, this verdict sets a very dangerous precedent for employers, and most importantly, employees; that unless physical violence actually occurs, workplace violence is acceptable.”

Brazil said that her employees, rather than the plaintiff, were the victims in the case.

Berling’s attorney, Tony Bucher, said once the jury got to meet his client, they realized the company’s claim that he posed a threat was far-fetched.

Berling had told his supervisor that a birthday celebration would bring back bad childhood memories surrounding his parents’ divorce. The supervisor forgot to pass along his request, the company said.

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Average Brit’s Work-Life Balance is 45% Pleasure, Study Finds.

This particular study was commissioned by Novotel and it found that the typical working day lasts seven hours and 39 minutes. While an average of three hours and 55 minutes overtime is worked each week. James Wheatcroft, spokesman for Novotel, said: “It’s interesting to see how people split their work and life commitments. With work, often taking over from having a social life or down time.

To improve the split (55% work and 45% pleasure), 42% try to get a healthy amount of sleep, 40% avoid discussing work at weekends, and 34% take a lunch break each day. More than a quarter also try to book in social plans to give them something to look forward to away from work.

It also emerged from the study that more than half work during the commute – which typically lasts 35 minutes – with 54% claiming they then feel organised for the day ahead.

Work, you are only a part of my life journey, not my destination.

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Between The Brits and Others

The average time to “wind down” at the end of the working day was found to be 6:22pm – although a fifth claim work is always on their mind. They have this to say; “The past couple of years have no doubt had an impact on our general routines and priorities, especially working hours. With many homes also becoming workplaces. We want to encourage people to take time and make time for things that matter and help with their general wellbeing.

The research, which polled adults in various countries, found Germany has the worst work-life balance – 58% work and 42% “life” – while Poland has the best with a clear 50/50 split.

It also found Brits work the fewest hours, compared to those in Germany, Netherlands and Poland who all work more than eight hours a day.

While Germans clock off and wind down the earliest, at 17:36pm, Polish workers don’t feel switched off until 18:55pm.

What About “Me Time”?

Germans get the least “me time” a week, just five hours 46 minutes. Though Brits manage six hours 37 minutes of “me time” a week, more than a third would like to have more in general. And 30% would want to make this a priority for 2022. However, just 26% feel they prioritise “me time” over their job.

To wind down, 57% watch TV, 39% go for a walk or run, and 27% go shopping.

Though the average Brit’s work-life balance is 45% pleasure, whatever the choice of escape for the available hours, “time well spent” is more important than ever.

Six Figures Makes People Quit Full-Time Jobs For Contract Work

LIVEMINT: Six figures earning is making people quit full-time jobs for flexibility. This is as nearly 80% of those surveyed by Upwork said control over their schedule was a key motivator for pursuing freelance work. Many professionals who have become independent consultants say they now have more money and control over their lives.

Some professionals have found they can earn six figures when they go solo. High-end gig work in consulting, marketing, writing and project management has gained more traction during the pandemic.


Now May Be The Best Time For Working Mum Caregivers to Ask For a Raise

MSNBC: Some working mum caregivers are also professionals. Now is the time for them to find their voice and also earn six figures while caregiving.

A mum narrated her experience and the ‘flexible’ advise she was given when she first went back to work after delivering her preemie twin boys in 2002. Her MBA school career counselor told her not to mention to any prospective employers that she was a new mom. And to increase her chances and hide what may later be obvious by the demands of her caregiving role, she was also advised against negotiating. Not salary. She was not not to negotiate for any schedule that involved “flexibility.”

It is only if you have specific goals in your personal and professional life, that you can measure, if you’re going in the right direction or not.


5 Ways You Can Avoid Work-From-Home Burnout

First, create a ‘buddy’ system among your colleagues and team members.

Thereafter, ensure you have regular check-ins with team members. For example, you can politely ask people to keep their video on for some time during virtual meetings. This will allow you to see how well everyone is doing.

Try and introduce fun challenges to work, this is keep employees motivated; weather that is during virtual or in-person meetings.

You should often audit your own and personnel home workspaces and perhaps, personal circumstance. This can help you to understand what employees need in their own home office space so they can work optimally.

Finally, allow for some flexibility in every day work. You just need to put in some proper guidelines to guard against abuse.

Your life and your celebrations are yours to design.


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