Five former employees of Minnetonka’s Equity Bank have agreed to a settlement in a lawsuit that alleged that the bank’s CEO barraged them with vulgar tirades, threatened to burn down their houses, kill them and dismember their children.
Some might have dismissed such threats as mere bluster, but these five didn’t—especially after a former bank officer’s house burned to the ground while he was on vacation. The man had recently left his job with the bank.
He filed a civil charge of arson against the CEO, but a judge dismissed the case, noting that, “arson is not a recognized civil claim in Minnesota.”
Police eventually cleared the CEO of criminal arson and continue to investigate.
However, a civil suit alleging a “perversely hostile work environment” was allowed to continue until the parties agreed to a settlement, the terms of which remain confidential.
Note: It may be obvious that making terroristic threats against your employees is poor form. However, it pays to remind managers and supervisors that it’s possible to go too far even when joking around with employees. Remind them to keep it professional at all times.