The Inbox: Monopoly Iron Flatly Terminated Edition‎

| William A. Schreiner, Jr.

You may have heard this week that Hasbro, the maker of the Monopoly board game, has decided to let go of one of the board’s signature tokens – the iron.  The iron, according to NPR, seems to be a bit steamed behind a stoic exterior, while looking ahead to greener pastures.  Of course, we have no idea yet if the iron has a claim for wrongful termination – perhaps there’s a wrinkle in his contract with Hasbro? – but we’ll certainly keep an eye on it, at least to avoid burning ourselves.  It does seem, though, that whatever happens this guy always wins. 

Turning to relevant matters involving people: 

  • We’ve written about the Family and Medical Leave Act, which turned 20 years old this week.  On its birthday, some argue it goes to far, while others say not far enough – analysis of the issue from both sides is here.  At the same time, the Department of Labor has published rules extending the reach of FMLA to veterans, military families, and certain airline employees.
  • A former employee of BAE Systems, who worked for the defense contractor in Afghanistan, has filed suit against the company under the False Claims Act, alleging he was let go after he blew the whistle on the company’s billing practices, which he asserts were fraudulent and excessive. 
  • This one sounds, well, Solomonic to us: The California Supreme Court, in a unanimous ruling, held that where a bus driver proved she was terminated for a prohibited discriminatory reason (pregnancy), but the employer showed it had legitimate reasons to fire her even without the discrimination, then the bus driver could get attorney’s fees and injunctive relief – but not back pay, other damages, or reinstatement.  The opinion in Harris v. Santa Monica is here.
  • Finally, from the “signing doesn’t imply reading” department: Don Marsh, the former CEO of Marsh Supermarkets, a Midwestern grocery chain, testified this week in the company’s case seeking to recover about $3 million he spent on personal expenses.  According to the report of his testimony here, Mr. Marsh said the company’s code of conduct – which might have prohibited the spending – didn’t apply to him because he “wasn’t aware of it,” even though he signed it.