Monday, March 05, 2007

Flippin v. Los Angeles City Board (Cal. Ct. App. - March 1, 2007)

Kenneth Flippin drives a truck for the DWP. He also sleeps on the job. Indeed, one day, he rigged a hammock up and slept underneath his DWP truck on a public street while on duty. Someone saw him doing so and, not surprisingly, called the DWP and complained. At which point a DWP supervisor drove to where Flippin was sleeping, heard him snoring, took pictures, and called Flippin's name to wake him up. Flippin did so, and promptly -- consistent with his surname -- gave the supervisor the finger.

Shockingly, Flippin was fired. Boldly, Flippin challenged his termination, claiming that he shouldn't have been fired for sleeping in a hammock under his truck in public view while on duty. Or, for that matter, giving the supervisor the bird.

The Los Angeles City Board of Civil Service Commissioners upheld Flippin's dismissal. The trial court reversed. Thankfully, Justice Chavez reverses the trial court.

I really don't think we need public employees sleeping in a hammock under their truck while on duty. Or using their finger -- in public -- to make a point to their supervisor. Really, we don't.