The mother was stunned when her bosses BANNED her from talking about her late daughter Tatiana or keeping photos on her desk — because it made her co-workers uncomfortable!
Cecelia Ingraham claims she was even told to “act as if Tatiana didn’t exist!” She sued Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical for emotional distress, but lost her lawsuit!
Cecelia was devastated when Tatiana lost her long battle with leukemia in 2005, aged just 17. When she returned to work she kept photographs and her daughter’s ballet shoes on her desk to comfort her — until she was hauled into a meeting with her bosses.
She was told colleagues had complained about her tendency to talk about the tragedy — and instructed to strip her desk of “disrupting” photos and mementos.
Cecelia quit the job and sued Ortho-McNeil for emotional distress and constructive discharge, but failed to convince a court that her boss Carl DeStefanis had intended to cause her distress and had acted outrageously.
Defending his ruling, Judge Victor Ashrafi said, “If courts had to preside over every instance of rude and thoughtless boss behavior, they’d never have time to consider any other kinds of cases.”
“There is no question that any reasonable employer should know that telling a grieving mother not to talk about her deceased daughter might cause emotional distress but a severe reaction was not a risk that one should predict.”
Do you agree with the judgment, HollyMoms? Was Cecelia treated harshly? Or was SHE the unreasonable one?
— Ian Garland
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