Friday, September 21, 2012

'Reply All' Claims Another Victim - COTW #110

Email 101: Check the recipients (aka the 'To:' field) before clicking 'Send'. Yet we've all received those cringe-worthy emails, clearly intended to be a reply directed to a single individual, but sent to an entire distribution list by an accidental 'Reply All'.

The Case of the Week is Reveles v. Napolitano. The plaintiff alleges that he was terminated for hitting 'Reply All' by mistake:
On or about March 11, 2008, Plaintiff received notice that on January 25, 2008, he had engaged in "misconduct" when he accidentally hit the "Reply to all" icon instead of the "Reply" icon in response to an email sent to his good friend and co-worker stating he was a "kiss-ass" for pointing out a typo in an email originally sent from station administrative supervisor SBPA Bustillos.
Now, he has filed a lawsuit claiming national origin discrimination. The Complaint does not explain why the plaintiff believes he was discriminated against on the basis of national origin.

The punishment sounds a little harsh, but we don't really know the back story. In fact, the Complaint notes that "Plaintiff was placed on a Last Chance Agreement for misuse of a government computer signed on October 3, 2007 (prior to the incident that led to his termination)." In any event, lesson learned - for the 10 millionth time - check the recipients in the emails you send, and be careful with that 'Reply All' button!

HT: Eric Meyer via email.