In a case of hilariously bad facts actually making decent law, we have two dudes collecting a ginormous pile of jury-awarded damages because the company for which they worked swabbed their cheek to see if they were the people that kept pooping in in the warehouse. No, really.
A federal jury in Georgia has awarded $2.225,000 million to two men required to take DNA tests. They were peformed in an effort to identify a “devious defecator” who left piles of feces on a food-storage warehouse floor at the grocery distributor where the pair worked.
How much do you wish you could work on a case that involved a “devious defecator”? All the wishing. Making closing arguments — on either side of that case — must have been fantastic.
Setting aside the almost infinite possibility to laugh over the fact that this case turned on figuring out who was weird enough — and kind of ballsy enough – to defecate on their workplace floor — and, on occasion, the canned goods stored in said warehouse — this case actually ended up creating a great holding. Because guess what? Though the police can swab your beautiful mouth if they think you did something wrong, your employer cannot.
[Federal] law says employers cannot use a person’s genetic information in making decisions about hiring, firing, promotions or health insurance coverage. […] U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg, who dubbed the case “the mystery of the devious defecator,” last month rejected Atlas’ claim that GINA only prohibits employers from using genetic material to determine a worker’s propensity for disease.
So there you have it. Feel free to advise your clients that they may wantonly fling their bodily solids and fluids about their workplace and they can sleep well at night knowing that their DNA can’t give them away.
[Post image via Shutterstock]