We get it, we get it. Times are tough out there. Not so tough that you’d take the case of the parents who wanted to sue the parents of a kid that didn’t attend their son’s birthday party, but let’s face it: that’s a pretty low bar. So, regrettably, you might have to just suck it up and be the lawyer for one Michael Curley.
Curley sued the city of North Las Vegas (which is apparently not the same as Las Vegas, we guess. Who knew?) after he was fired for cause, alleging that he was instead let go for having filed a request for accommodation under the ADA and a charge of discrimination with the EEOC. PRE-TEXTUAL FIRING, Y’ALL. Seems that Curley requested an accommodation for a hearing impairment, saying that the noise from one of the trucks he had to operate was wrecking his hearing and asking if he could have a job that wasn’t anywhere near that truck, please. The city pointed out that he kinda sorta had to be near that truck for his job and told him to double-wrap his ears.
We’re going to skip over all the lawyer-y stuff about how his firing was in temporal proximity to his protected activity, blah blah blah, because all we really want to do is tell you what the City’s investigation turned up.
Sure, things sound mild at the start. Curley was insensitive about a fellow co-worker’s motorcycle accident, which is a jerk move, to be sure, but we’d have to fire everyone that ever wrote for Bitter Lawyer if that was a fireable offense. OK, OK, he also got a little…weird…with a coworker.
The coworker asked Curley to remove his hearing protection so that the two of them could communicate about a work-related task. In response, Curley began swearing and asking the coworker whether he thought he was a doctor.
Because this was written by a judge (haha, law clerk, let’s be honest) we actually can’t tell if that means Curley was asking the coworker if he, the coworker, was a doctor or whether Curley was asking the coworker if he, Curley, was a doctor. Either is decidedly odd.
Curley was also apparently running a side business while working for the government.
Multiple coworkers said that Curley regularly conducted personal business while at work, sometimes spending up to three hours on his cell phone. It also appears that Curley was operating an ADA consulting business. Many of the calls he made during work were about the business, and coworkers saw him approach disabled individuals to discuss potential lawsuits.
That’s just his entrepreneurial spirit at work, right? Sure, but we’re really just now getting to the best part.
As part of the investigation, the Human Resources Department interviewed City employees and asked about their interactions with Curley. The interviews revealed that Curley had repeatedly threatened his coworkers and their families. For example, he threatened to put a bomb under a car, insinuated that he had mafia connections, and talked about giving a “blanket party”—which would involve throwing a blanket over a person’s head and beating him. One coworker reported that Curley threatened to kick his teeth out if the coworker did not join a union. On another occasion, Curley threatened to shoot his supervisor’s children in the kneecaps.
Perhaps the attorney that took this case did so because he was terrified of Curley. We know we are.
[Post image via Shutterstock]