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Amusing Cases in the Area of Employment and Labour Law

DATE: 23.06.2011


Employer parades thieving employee through town

Simon Cremer, who owns a carpet fitting firm paraded his employee Mark Gilbert through a town in the UK with a sign around his neck saying “THIEF I stole £845 am on my way to Police Station”. The “thief” in question has escaped with a caution after stealing a cheque, forging it and cashing it for holiday spending money. The employer however is being charged with false imprisonment.

Hotel sued when employee caught wearing guest’s clothes

The Hyatt hotel chain has been sued by a Los Angeles woman who returned to her room to find a male employee wearing his Hyatt uniform shirt along with her skirt, high heeled shoes and underwear. The claim includes emotional distress, invasion of privacy, and negligent hiring, supervision and/or training. Settlement negotiations have failed as the Hyatt is unwilling to acknowledge the client’s emotional distress. The man in question has pleaded guilty to a charge of disorderly conduct, has paid a fine of €187, and is under 90 days of court supervision.

Exit strategy: The emergency chute!

The JetBlue airline steward who became famous in August after he quit his job and activated the emergency chute of a packed jet while it sat on the tarmac at JFK International Airport, had a lucky escape in court in October.

Steven Slater decided to pack in his job after a heated exchange that ensued when a passenger rose out of his seat while the jet was still taxiing to the gate. This seemed to be the last straw for Mr Slater as he walked to the rear of the plane, announced his resignation over the intercom and then activated the emergency chute and slid away. After driving home, he was arrested and charged with criminal mischief.

His day in court arrived on 19 October. Slater admitted the charge and escaped without a custodial sentence. However, he is on a year’s probation and will have to attend counselling for a year. JetBlue has suspended the irate steward and expressed concern that the decision fails to take account of the danger of deploying emergency slides which use a potentially deadly amount of force. The District Attorney also noted that it cost €25,000 to fix the slide and the plane was out of service afterwards causing flight delays.

Meanwhile Mr Slater’s fame continues unabated as it was possible to get a Slater inspired Halloween air steward costume this year in many shops across the United States.


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