Friday, October 14, 2011

Double Fisting and Crazy Bitch Bingo - COTW #62

Ah, double fisting and “Crazy Bitch Bingo”… just another Case of the Week here at Lawffice Space. Ashley Payne filed a lawsuit hoping to get her teaching job back (and maybe some monetary damages), claiming she lost her job over Facebook postings from her trip to Europe. The Atlanta Journal Constitution has the story, which heavily implies (but never comes right out and says) that Payne recently lost on summary judgment.

I know, I know… who cares about the procedural posture? Cut to the “good parts.” Payne claims she lost her teaching job when a “parent” complained to the school about some content on her Facebook wall. One picture showed the now-former teacher double fisting (I assume it’s the picture in the AJC article… but again, the AJC doesn’t come right out and say it). For the uninitiated, “double fisting” means holding drinks in each hand (it cuts down on trips to the bar and allows for faster consumption... or so I've heard).

She also posted that she was headed to a game of “Crazy Bitch Bingo.” I have no idea what that means, but it sounds awesome detrimental to our children. If you’re like me, you may be thinking, “they fired her for that!?” Annnd here comes the problem with her case… they did not fire her for that. They didn’t fire her at all; she resigned. Employee-side litigation 101 – If you plan on filing a lawsuit, DO NOT RESIGN!

Payne claims that she was essentially forced out by her supervisor suggesting that it was better if she just quit. There also appears to be some question about whether it was really a parent who sent the email. In the video below, Payne claims her privacy settings would have prevented such a disclosure. Her attorney claims she was denied due process.

Long story short: quitting makes it tough to sue your employer for firing you. In any event, sounds like she lost… for now. Her attorney filed an amended complaint on Monday.

Here's the video (if video is not displaying properly click here to view online):



HT: ABA Journal - Judge Rules Against Teacher Who Says She Was Fired Over Facebook Photos.

Posted by Philip Miles, an attorney with McQuaide Blasko in State College, Pennsylvania in the firm's civil litigation and labor and employment law practice groups.