Schadenfreude—Employment-Law Style

In today’s litigious society, it’s always nice to take a step back and appreciate the problems we don’t have–even if that means indulging in a little schadenfreude. In that spirit, I give you the story of Jill McGlone, a civil servant in Norfolk Virginia. calendar and clock

Ms. McGlone has sued her former employer for wrongful termination. Generally an employee’s allegations of wrongful termination don’t raise eyebrows,  but this case presents unique circumstances. Ms. McGlone was terminated in 2010, after a 12-year paid suspension, during which time she allegedly received approximately $320,000 in compensation. It is also alleged that during her suspension, McGlone continued to receive benefits and annual raises.

It’s still unclear how Ms. McGlone’s situation was allowed to continue for 12 years. It appears that after she was suspended in 1998 for alleged workplace misconduct, her supervisor never resolved her employment status. The issue was not reviewed again until 2010, when a new director was appointed to oversee the agency for which Ms. McGlone “worked.” Since Ms. McGlone’s situation came to light, five other individuals have been terminated for allowing her suspension to continue unresolved. Possible civil and criminal charges are still being considered.

The moral of the story: don’t suspend your employees with pay for 12 years, and be glad you’re not being threatened with litigation for correcting the situation!

One thought on “Schadenfreude—Employment-Law Style

  1. Stupidity crashes head-on into greed, and we all slow down to look at (marvel at?) the wreckage. I’m sure there are two sides to this story, which might explain why some lawyer took this case on. Please keep us posted; inquiring minds want to know the outcome of this (as Hunter Thompson once called it) “strange and terrible saga into the heart of the American dream.” Who knows – this case could become the knew poster child for tort reform.


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