Talk about being in a stinky situation – the wife of Richard Clem, a 70-year-old man from the U.S. state of Pennsylvania has filed a lawsuit against their former employer, Case Pork Roll Company of Trenton, New Jersey. Case Pork Roll allegedly fired him for farting too much at work.
Clem was hired as a comptroller at Case Pork Roll in 2004, and weighed about 420 pounds back then. He later underwent gastric bypass surgery in 2010, which gave him unfortunate side effects such as “extreme gas and uncontrollable diarrhoea”.
His symptoms worsened in 2013, and he was fired from the company not long after. According to the suit, Case Pork Roll’s president Thomas Dolan made Clem work from home, and said things like “Tell Rich we are getting complaints from visitors who have problems with the odours”.
Clem’s case is the latest in a long line of dismissals that were due to some pretty unusual reasons. Let’s have a look at 4 of these.
Fired For Being Too Attractive
A dentist in the U.S. state of Iowa fired an assistant whom he found attractive, because he and his wife viewed her as a threat to their marriage. And here’s the shocker – it was legal.
Melissa Nelson worked for dentist James Knight for 10 years, and was considered by Knight to be a great employee. But in the final months leading to her dismissal, Knight started complaining that her clothing was a distraction, stating that if there was a bulge in his pants, it was a sign that she was dressed too provocatively.
Friendly text messages exchanged between Knight and Nelson outside work hours also soon turned creepy. Knight started asking her about intimate aspects of her personal life, such as how often she had sex. After Nelson replied in a manner that implied “not much”, he allegedly went on to remark, “that’s like having a Lamborghini in the garage and not driving it”.
A Lamborghini. Photo: Wikimedia user Noebu
Knight’s wife later found out about the messages, and demanded that Nelson be fired. She was terminated shortly after the Knights consulted their pastor, who agreed that firing her was the right thing to do to save their marriage.
Nelson did not let this go easily. She filed a lawsuit alleging gender discrimination, which was surprisingly dismissed before trial by a district judge. The ruling was thereafter upheld by the Iowa high court, which concluded that bosses can fire employees they see as threats to their marriages, even if the employees themselves have not engaged in flirting or other inappropriate behaviour.
The court added that such firings do not count as illegal sex discrimination, as they are “motivated by feelings, not gender”.
Fired For Saving A Life
Florida lifeguard Tomas Lopez was on shift one day at Hallandale beach, when someone came to his post calling for help. Noticing a man struggling in the water some distance away, he immediately made a run for it, and rescued him before it was too late. You’d think he’d be commended for saving someone’s life, right? Nope, he was fired.
Turns out that in saving the man’s life, he went out of the zone that his company, Jeff Ellis and Associates, was paid to patrol. According to company officials, his actions posed “liability issues” to the company, and could have put other beachgoers in jeopardy. This was despite other lifeguards watching over his area when he conducted the rescue. Shortly after the incident, nine other lifeguards either resigned out of protest, or were sacked for saying that they’d do the same.
Last we heard, he was offered his job back by none other than Jeff Ellis, who said that he was “of the opinion that the supervisors acted hastily”. But somewhat predictably, the offer was turned down.
Fired For Retrieving A Twix Bar
Photo: Flickr user Salim Fadhley
Vending machines can sometimes take unexpected days off, gobbling up cash and refusing to let go of their contents. When that happens, the machine in question will probably suffer a couple of knocks, as the furious customer tries to retrieve what he or she has paid for. Well, at least until they meet someone like Robert McKevitt of Iowa, U.S.A.
McKevitt was working his shift at the Polaris Warehouse in Milford, Connecticut when he decided to get a snack from the vending machine. He deposited a dollar in the machine, selected the Twix candy bar, and proceeded to clench his fists in agony (at least we think he did) when the candy bar got itself stuck.
“I was, like, ‘Oh, man,’” said McKevitt. “So I put in another dollar, and then it wouldn’t do anything.”
When that happened, McKevitt proceeded to do what people usually do: he rocked the machine back and forth, and banged on it. But that failed too.
That’s when he did something people don’t usually do: according to state unemployment records, he walked away, and came back with an 8,000-pound (around 3,600kg) forklift. He then drove the forklift to the vending machine, lifted it 60cm off the ground, and let it drop. He repeated the action at least six times, by which three candy bars had dropped into the vending machine’s chute.
When confronted by a supervisor, McKevitt simply explained that he was trying to get what he paid for. He was fired five days later.
Fired For (Quite Literally) Making Money
Photo: deviantart user Amanda
Talk about taking things too literally – Tennessee middle school janitor James Terry Chapman was arrested (and of course, fired from his job) for taking a rather unconventional approach to making more money – printing them on his school’s copy machine.
In what is probably one of the least well-thought-out scams we’ve ever seen, Chapman duplicated both sides of U.S. $20 and $10 bills on separate pieces of paper, cut them out and then stuck them together with glue. Local police caught onto the scam, when counterfeit notes were found in his repossessed car.
They later received a call from the owner of a local body shop, who claimed that Chapman tried to pay for his purchases with one of his DIY creations.
“(The owner) knew right away it was a fake,” Campbell County Sheriff Robbie Goins told Local 8 News.
Chapman was fired after confessing to his crime, and was arrested shortly afterwards.
Featured image: Flickr user Gage Skidmore