Miami County Municipal Court Judge Mel Kemmer decided to take matters into his own hands after a bailiff who threatened him was allowed to return to work.
In conversation with another bailiff in January, Scott Niesley reportedly made a verbal threat against Judge Kemmer and four other court employees. Niesley received a two-week suspension and counseling.
Kemmer has banned Niesley from his courtroom and chambers, his assistant’s office and anywhere else Kemmer is in the Troy courthouse. He also began carrying a gun to work, saying he feared Niesley. Kemmer said he thought Niesley should have been fired.
Note: Miami County courts get this month’s “Wake Up and Smell the Coffee” award. Dealing with threats can be tricky, since it’s impossible to separate idle threats from dangerous ones until it’s too late. But if an employee fears for his life because of a threat, that’s grounds for firing. Besides, a bailiff is supposed to control threats, not issue them.
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Have manager who hired also do the firing
- Require everyone to report harassment—you'll be justified firing those who don't
- When harassment case is on the line, be ready to prove you did everything you could to stop it
- Firing shortly after follow-up FMLA care may be retaliation