Some employees needto cope with work stress. But that doesn’t mean that employers can’t punish someone who makes threats.
Recent case: George Ballato worked for Comcast, but had trouble with his supervisor. Ballato believed the boss unfairly graded his performance.
Ballato applied for and was approved to take intermittent FMLA leave for fatigue and depression. The company let him take time off if he called in.
Ballato started sending threatening emails to high-ranking executives, explaining that he was stressed out. Comcast cut off his computer and building access. It then terminated him.
He sued, alleging interference withleave. The court tossed out the case because Ballato got leave each time he asked and because Comcast had the right to cut access based on the erratic emails. (Ballato v. Comcast, No. 09-2236, DC MN, 2011)