Employee Loses Hard-Hat Tiff in a Capitol Offense

     WASHINGTON (CN) – An employee at the U.S. Capitol failed to establish that he was improperly disciplined when his supervisor took off the worker’s hard hat and threw it to the ground, the Federal Circuit ruled.

     While installing a 550-pound fan at the Capitol, Richard Duncan was the only member of the crew wearing a hard hat in accordance with the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
     Duncan bumped heads with his supervisor, who told him to remove the hard hat. Duncan silently refused. When they bumped heads again, the supervisor took Duncan’s hard hat and slammed it to the ground.
     Duncan sued the Office of the Architect of the Capitol, claiming a hostile work environment.
     Judge Prost ruled that the supervisor’s outburst was not caused by Duncan’s refusal to remove the hard hat.
     “Only when Mr. Duncan bumped Mr. Perry’s head with the hard hat during the second attempt did Mr. Perry react with an outburst of anger,” Prost wrote.

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