Accounting / Accountants, Labor / Employment, Lawsuit of the Day, Ridiculousness

Accountant Claims Wrongful Termination Essentially Because Her Job Was Too Hard

Aww... does your head hurt? Maybe you'd feel better if you DID YOUR FREAKING JOB!

This has been one hell of a day for ridiculous lawsuits. We’ve already dealt with Octomoms turned strippers and thick girls who want to go to law school. Now we’ve got an office worker who claims that the pressure of her job led to her heart condition.

Accountant Tammy Armstrong is claiming wrongful termination and intentional infliction of emotional distress because her employer asked her to do a lot of work. She also wants to be paid overtime because her employer had the audacity to claim her as a salaried worker and then paid her a salary.

Basically, if she wins, then every single junior office worker in law or finance should be able to sue their employers. Which makes me think she’s not going to win…

Going Concern pointed us in the direction of Armstrong, a South Dakota woman who worked as a Senior Accountant for for I-Behavior. In her complaint against her former employer, Armstrong alleges that I-Behavior classified her as a salaried employee ineligible for overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act, but then (and I’m quoting from the complaint) she was “regularly required to work far in excess of 40 hours per week.”

To be exempt from overtime, the FLSA requires that employees be salaried employees making at least $23,600, and perform “executive” job functions. Executive job functions are pretty broadly defined, but Armstrong argues that she did not perform any:

I take her point that she probably had no real power or discretion in her duties, but if a senior accountant who does things like fill out tax forms and prepare financial reports doesn’t count as an exempt employee under the statute, then a whole bunch of office jobs wouldn’t be exempt either. There are senior associates at law firms who can claim that all they do is fill out forms and assist in the preparation of documents with no real discretion in how they manage their duties.

In any event, Armstrong wants $28,000 in back overtime pay. She further alleges that I-Behavior created a hostile working environment by… asking her to work:

I swear, if this lawsuit works, I’m going to get back into Biglaw. Think about it: I could get overtime on top of my salary, and every time work got a little too stressful, I could tell my bosses that my doctor said they weren’t allowed to stress me out.

Armstrong doesn’t allege any specific instance of verbal abuse or assault. Given the complaint, I can only imagine this person’s definition of “abusive.”

BOSS: Hey, where are you with those reports?
ARMSTRONG: OH MY GOD STOP STRESSING ME OUT.
BOSS: But the reports…
ARMSTRONG: I have a HEART CONDITION. Stop ASSAULTING me with your expectations!
BOSS: Umm… just have them on my desk by…
ARMSTRONG: You will be hearing from my ATTORNEY, sir!

The last line of her complaint is classic:

Let me translate that last paragraph for those playing along at home: “On August 2, 2011, Armstrong quit her job because it was hard. She believes that if her job hadn’t been so hard, she would have been able to keep it.”

What a joke. Some jobs are hard. Luckily, we live in a free country where if you don’t like your job you are free to quit.

Here’s an honest question: who the hell would hire Tammy Armstrong for another job? Who wants to get sued by an employee who thinks she’s entitled to a stress-free professional environment?

You can read the full complaint, including Armstrong’s amazing allegations, on the next page.

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