Court awards man $450,000 after he was fired for being 'angry' that his bosses threw him a surprise party - AMEBO ONLINE NEWSPAPER

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Court awards man $450,000 after he was fired for being 'angry' that his bosses threw him a surprise party

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A man from Kentucky, USA who was fired for having a panic attack that his bosses saw as 'violent' after he was thrown a birthday party at work against his wishes has been awarded $450,000 by a jury.
Kevin Berling asked an office manager at the Gravity Diagnostics lab in Covington, Kentucky not to throw him a party because of his anxiety disorder in August 2019.
When he found out that a party was planned for lunchtime, he spent the break in his car working on breathing techniques to quell his stress. 
According to NewYorkTimes, the next day, he had another panic attack in a meeting with two supervisors who talked to him about his 'somber behavior.' 

The company says he had clenched his fists, turned red and ordered his superiors to be quiet during the meeting, leaving them 'shaken.' Berling's lawyer says the closed fists were part of a coping maneuver to deal with the tense situation.  
'They were absolutely in fear of physical harm during that moment,' Brazil, the company's co-founder, told the Times. 'They both are still shaken about it today.'

He was sent home after the meeting. A couple hours later, he texted one of his superiors to apologize, according to a complaint filed in Kenton County Circuit Court.
He was fired via email three days later. He then filed a disability discrimination suit a month later, in September 2019.

On March 31, a jury awarded Berling $150,000 in lost wages and benefits and $300,000 for suffering, embarrassment and loss of self-esteem after finding that he had been discriminated against for his disability.Gravity founder Julie Brazil, who does not appear to have been involved in the party planning, says she stands by her decision to terminate him 'for his violation of our workplace violence policy.'

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