Top Odd Workplace Stories of 2005

December 22, 2005 ( - Global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. recently released a list of 2005 Most Unbelievable Workplace Events.

The nine stories on its list included a variety of questionable workplace happenings.

Challenger, Gray’s list:

  • The Whine-Free Policy –A German company initiated a strict no-whining policy. Negative employees are under a two-moans-and-out rule. According to the company, several workers have quit and two others have been fired for violating the whine-free policy.
  • We Are Family, Only –DaimlerChrysler’s transmission plants in Kokomo, Indiana, have designated 80% of its employee parking as reserved for Chrysler vehicles only. Any non-Chrysler vehicle parked in a reserved area will be towed to Indianapolis, 50 miles away, where the employee will have to pay $200 to get his or her car back.
  • No Slack For War Wives A Michigan woman was fired from her part-time receptionist job after failing to show up for work the day after seeing her husband off to war as a National Guard member.
  • Rescue Squirrels On Your Own Time– A woman says she was suspended from her job for spending too much time trying to rescue a squirrel trapped in the ceiling of the library where she works.
  • Executive Whipped Into Shape –An executive for a foundation that funds heart disease research was accused of embezzling more than $237,000 and using some of the money to pay for the services of a dominatrix.
  • Anyone Desperate For A Job? The National Labor Relations Board refused to strike down a security company’s rule that prohibits employees from getting together away from work (SeeNLRB Upholds Employer’s Ban On Employee Socializing). The policy forbids workers from going to lunch together, attending each other’s weddings, or doing anything else they might want to do with each other outside of work.
  • Productivity vs. Religion: And the Winner is…– 30 Muslim workers were fired from a major computer manufacturer’s Nashville plant for adhering to religious doctrine that requires them to pray daily at sunset.
  • Forgot To Wrap That Can!– A worker with a good record and no problems with his supervisors was unexpectedly fired from his job with a beer distributor. While no reason was given, the firing occurred on the same day a picture of the worker drinking a competitor’s beer appeared in a local newspaper (See Coors Drinking CO Man Sues over Budweiser Firing).
  • No Hablas Español –Two Spanish-speaking hair stylists in Chicago claim in a federal lawsuit that the company they worked for strictly banned the use of Spanish, even when employees were on their breaks (See Hair Salon Franchiser Sued for Discrimination Against Hispanics). A sign at the establishment read, “Speaking a language other than English is not only disrespectful, it’s also prohibited.”