Nasty, Brutish & Short

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Before you accuse a co-worker of checking you out from a neighboring urinal...

July 18, 2007 01:50 PM

... make sure he does not have a medically diagnosed "lazy eye."  At least so holds the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, affirming that Todd Bernier's sexual harassment suit against Morningstar should be tossed.  From the Court's opinion:

[O]n Friday, January 23, 2004, Bernier noticed Davis taking “an overt, purposeful and glaring look” at Bernier’s penis while they were both standing at the urinals in the men’s bathroom on their floor. Bernier knew that Davis was gay—he had learned this in 2003, some time after Davis brought a male date to the company’s 2002 Christmas party—but he was not aware until this litigation commenced that Davis had a “lazy” left eye that sometimes made it appear that he was “looking off at something” when conversing.

What Bernier did after the incident, though, was what killed his claim:

[H]e sent Davis an anonymous instant message through a little-used internal system. The message, which popped up on Davis’s computer without warning, said, “Stop staring! The guys on the floor don’t like it.” Davis, under the impression that he was being harassed for being gay, promptly notified Morningstar’s Human Resources department.

Big, big mistake.  The law is that if you feel you're being sexually harassed in the workplace, you must follow the reporting procedures set forth by your employer.  Do not take matters into your own hands by sending anonymous messages.  It won't take Tech Support long to figure out who you are. 

And of course, always follow established urinal protocol by taking an end one first, and never going to one next to one which is being used by someone else.  A little common sense never hurts in these situations, especially if it keeps you from having to figure out which of your co-workers have medically diagnosed lazy eyes.

HT: Keeping Up With Jonas via Above the Law


"Why are you staring at my breasts?"

"I'm not, I just have lazy eyes."

That's going to be my argument from here on out.

Anonymous   ·  July 18, 2007 02:48 PM

Maybe he wasn't checking you out and was simply trying to read the phone number written in the grout such as "for a good time call...".
I think you know the line.

Butters   ·  July 18, 2007 04:49 PM

You speak sooth. And I hope this guy's lawyers weren't working on a contingency fee because his case was d.o.a.

Incidentally, I think this Judge Easterbrook is the brother of Tuesday Morning Quarterback guru Gregg Easterbrook.

Robert the Llama Butcher   ·  July 18, 2007 04:57 PM

On a local note: If you go to Shanghai Mama's, and the men's room door is open (not just unlocked, but not even shut), don't assume there's no one in there and you can avoid the line for the ladies' room to sneak in to wash your hands in the men's! I made this mistake tonight, only to hear breathing behind me while I was soaping up my hands. (The urinal is in the corner, so when you swing the door open, you can't see it.) Most men probably wouldn't leave the door wide open, but you never know. At least this one was cute, though sadly my eyes aren't lazy enough to have caught a glimpse of what he was packin'.

Jackie Danicki   ·  July 18, 2007 08:24 PM

What a hoot! Why didn't this homophobe simply tell Lazy Eye at the urinal to stop ogling his package? But no, he fretfully fantisises with rage just long enough to write an anonymous cease and desist warning note. This is the sort of nonsensical human frailty that helps get me through the day.

John Foland   ·  July 19, 2007 12:57 PM