The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals looked at this issue in Benes v. A.B. Data Ltd. According to the July 26 opinion, Michael Benes worked at A.B. Data for four months. Believing he was the subject of sex discrimination, he filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Employee and employer agreed to mediate through the EEOC. After the joint session, each side went to its separate caucus rooms. After getting an offer from his employer that he thought was too low, Benes "stormed" into the employer's room, and said loudly, “You can take your proposal and shove it up your ass and fire me and I'll see you in court.” He then stalked out.
Whereupon the following happened: The employer accepted his counterproposal, then fired him. In response Benes sued for retaliation, claiming he unlawfully was terminated for "participating" in a proceeding under Title VII.
The trial court tossed it, and the appeals court said it was right to do so: The law "does not create a privilege to misbehave in court, [and] it does not create a privilege to misbehave in mediation."
I close with the Buddha, who remarked that getting angry at someone is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Today's lesson learned is about litigation protocol.