Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer
Michelle Luebbert worked for a man who enjoyed copious amounts of pornography on his work computer, so she decided to do something about it. Determined that she no longer should be subjected to the sights and sounds emanating from her boss' office, Luebbert complained to higher ups. And they took immediate action . . . by firing her.
Now Luebbert is suing to get her job back, plus damages. If a jury sides with her, Luebbert's bank account should take a nice bump. And her former employer--the Webster Electric Cooperative in southwest Missouri--will have a spot in the Workplace Dunderheads Hall of Fame.
As someone who was fired for writing a progressive blog about matters of public interest--on my own time, with my own resources--I'm not easily shocked by workplace stupidity. But even I was left with my mouth agape as I read about Luebbert's experience at the rural utility company in Webster County, near Marshfield, Missouri. Here is how the Springfield News-Leader reported on Luebbert's lawsuit against General Manager Thomas E. Houston, the cooperative, and its board members:
Luebbert, who worked at the cooperative since 2002, said in her suit that the board of directors fired her on Sept. 21, after she complained to them about Houston watching pornography in his office. Workers could see his screen through an open door. She was manager of accounting and finance at the time of the firing.
"His viewing progressively became more frequent and active, the extent of which was pervasive, continuous and offensive," her attorney Jay Kirksey wrote in the suit. The day before she was fired, the suit says, Luebbert "was offered a settlement if she would remain quiet as to Defendant Houston's conduct."- Advertisement -
They offered to pay her off if she stayed quiet? I'd say things aren't looking real great for the utility folks at the moment. And get this?