I Get This

Days before his birthday in August 2019, an employee at a Kentucky-based laboratory asked his office manager to not arrange a celebration for his birthday.

It wasn’t the fear of getting older, but rather an anxiety disorder that can spur “panic attacks in stressful situations,” according to court documents. The employee, who was hired in October 2018 by Gravity Diagnostics, did not want a celebration because “being the center of attention” can trigger his disorder, the documents state.

When the company threw him a lunchtime party against his wishes, it triggered a panic attack and he left abruptly to spend his break in his car. Four days later, after his office managers confronted him about his reaction to the party, he was fired from the Northern Kentucky company, court records show.

He eventually sued Gravity Diagnostics, and this week, a jury awarded the man $450,000 in damages for his lost wages and emotional distress.

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