Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Trash Talking Not Stalking

This isn't a legal profession case, but it may be of some interest to employment lawyers. The Supreme Court of Georgia reversed a protective order obtained by two fire department employees against the fire chief of the City of Loganville. The employees had sought the protective order for stalking and verbal abuse in the workplace, and for "physical assaults occurring primarily during basketball games conducted as part of their required physical training." The court held that the chief had not followed the employees or placed them under surveillance and thus the evidence did not establish harassment without legitimate purpose. "The verbal taunts, which occured at various times during working hours and included 'cursing, threatening employees' jobs and belittling employees' intelligence, personal life, weight, sexual experience or financial situation'...were not sufficient to create a reasonable fear for the safety of [the firemen] or their families." (Mike Frisch)

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