When Brian Bond texted his co-worker and former girlfriend, Gina Bullard, that she was a “whore” and later ignored two protective orders that Bullard had taken out against him, I wonder if he was thinking, “Maybe, I’ll get fired and parlay that into a winning reverse-gender-discrimination claim.”
Indeed, Mr. Bond’s actions violated a number of work rules and, ultimately, resulted in his termination. But a winning reverse-gender-discrimination claim? Not so much according to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals (opinion here):
Bond has not demonstrated that the City refused to terminate similarly situated female employees, i.e., female employees that violated the City’s violence in the workplace policy, sexual harassment policy, and code of ethics. As evidence of less favorable treatment, Bond submits that the City terminated him, but did not terminate Bullard.
Bullard used a City fax machine to file complaints against Bond and brought a handgun to work for protection — against Bond. But I digress…
On its face, contends Bond, this disparity in treatment demonstrates that the City has discriminated on the basis of gender. However, Bond was subject to multiple protection from abuse orders, he admitted to sending text messages during work hours that were designed to annoy and alarm Bullard, and was charged with and ultimately pled guilty to harassment. As the District Court acknowledged, the record does not show that Bullard engaged in similar conduct.
Consequently, Bond could not demonstrate reverse-gender discrimination…even in bizarro world.
Usually, I end my blog posts by offering an employer takeaway. This time, I’ll toss out an employee takeaway: Don’t be like Bond.
Image credit: atom.smasher.org, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.