5th Circuit, Labor / Employment

Is There Anybody Left We Can Harass At Work?

‘I’m fixing to sue somebody.’

Who can we pick on if not weak heterosexual males? Who can we make fun of? Who can we bring to tears without fear of a lawsuit as we try to brighten our workdays?

In a modern professional workplace, you rightly can no longer make fun of gay people. It’s not cool to make someone feel bad about their sexuality as they try to go about their business. You can’t make fun of women, lest your taunting piles onto all the hurdles they must overcome. You can’t make fun of minorities, or the disabled, or the mentally ill who might take your ouchy words as justification for killing themselves.

In this context, the effeminate heterosexual male is all we have left. Work stinks. You have to deal with all kinds of BS. Making fun of the dude with sand in his vagina is how real men handle their wage slavery.

But now, the Fifth Circuit is trying to take that away from us. The judges ruled that an iron worker (!!!) was right to sue like a little bitch and recover because his boss made fun of his “non-manly” nature. It’s a sad day for bros everywhere…

A man, whose first name is “Kerry,” sued a man whose last name is “Wolfe.” I mean, case closed, right? Mess with the big dog and you are supposed to lose.

Not so, says the Fifth Circuit. Apparently Kerry the girly man is able to recover damages from Wolfe’s company just because Wolfe delighted in making fun of Kerry. From the ABA Journal:

Both the worker, Kerry Woods, and his crew superintendent, Chuck Wolfe, were heterosexual men, according to the opinion. But Woods did not conform to Wolfe’s view of how a man should act, the majority said. Wolfe called Woods a princess and a faggot, simulated sex with Woods when he bent over, and exposed himself to Woods while urinating, sometimes waving and smiling. He also asserted Woods was “kind of gay” because he used Wet Ones.

For the record, Lat and Staci believe Wet Ones to be wonderful gifts of modern science, while Joe and I believe God created jeans for a reason. Make of that what you will.

A jury awarded damages for Woods, but an appeals court set aside the judgment. The Fifth Circuit, not known for its sympathy for political correctness, surprisingly reversed and ruled that Woods could recover.

This is why we can’t have nice things: like Code Reds for substandard Marines and football players who can handle their concussions.

Let’s skip to the dissent:

Dissenter E. Grady Jolly said the EEOC had failed to prove that Wolfe harassed Woods because he believed him unmanly, especially since Wolfe engaged in vulgar conduct with most every other employee. “Let me first acknowledge that the facts and language in this case, which occurred in an all-male workforce on an ironworker construction site, are not for tender ears,” he wrote. “The vulgarities can cast turmoil in a strong stomach, but that does not mean that the laws of the United States have been violated, and it does not require Title VII and the EEOC to serve as federal enforcer of clean talk in a single sex workforce.”

We are living in the Sexual Harassment Panda episode of South Park where everybody can sue everybody for everything. You can’t call anybody any names, you can’t ostracize people you don’t like, you can’t bully those weaker than you, you can’t do anything!

I guess there’s just no place in America anymore for a man who wants to smelt some iron, simulate anal sex with a co-worker, and have a beer.

Harassed for being unmanly? En banc court sees Title VII violation; dissent sees clean-talk enforcer [ABA Journal]

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