Fenwick Employment Brief - May 13, 2011


In this issue: Employer May Lawfully Terminate Employee For Disability-Caused Threats of Violence Toward Coworkers; Obligation to "Provide" - As Opposed to "Ensure" - Breaks and Meal Periods Under California Law Gains Further Traction; and News Bites.

Excerpt from 'Employee May Lawfully Terminate...':

In Wills v. Superior Court of Orange County, a California appellate court considered the case of Linda Wills, a long-time employee of the Orange County Superior Court who suffers from bipolar disorder that subjects her to depressive and manic episodes. The court held that employers need not tolerate (or accommodate) an employee’s threats or violence toward coworkers, even when that conduct stems from the employee’s disability.

After about 8 years of employment with the Superior Court, she was assigned to a police department’s lock-up facility where she was to assist in arraigning criminal suspects. Wills arrived at the facility, rang the buzzer for entry and, after several minutes, was admitted. Upon entering the lockup area, she “angrily swore and yelled” at the department employees, accused them of intentionally leaving her in the summer heat, and told an officer that she had added him and the facility assistant to her “Kill Bill” list.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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