Man Wins $450k In Court After His Work Birthday Party Caused A Panic Attack

Every office has a party planner. You know—the one who just can’t resist grabbing a cake, a bunch of balloons and streamers, and organizing the big office birthday for everyone who turns a year older.

Sure, it’s a nice gesture. And some people really love the surprise of having a meeting they dreaded going to turn into a celebration just for them. But others? Others can’t stand the attention that birthdays might bring. Some people have a lot of anxiety around a party that’s just for them and wish that coworkers simply didn’t acknowledge it.

One Kentucky man specifically told his colleagues NOT to throw him a birthday party because that kind of thing gave him anxiety. But his coworkers claim that they forgot his request and opted to throw the party anyway.

However, the man did not react well to this. Instead of attending, he decided to go eat lunch in his car. Well, he DID say he couldn’t deal with that kind of thing, right?

The next day, the office had him attend a meeting where he was “confronted and criticized” for how he reacted to his office birthday party. A few days later, he was fired for his “behavior”—all after he had warned them prior that he didn’t want it at all.

Don’t worry—in the end, the man came out on top. After suing, he won a lawsuit of $450,000.

People who heard about the story were mostly on the man’s side—especially those who also suffer from anxiety and panic attacks.

“I have social anxiety,” someone wrote. “My literal nightmare is a big fuss and singing and having to open a gift in a crowded room. While eating a crappy buffet spread. And pretending to be grateful. No one wants your party, Janet!”

Additionally, many people feel that it’s important for others to take these kinds of request seriously—even if it’s not something that you can relate to.

“While someone without anxiety might think it’s no big deal, some of us just can’t handle that much stimulation and aren’t comfortable. It’s absolute BS that they fired him when he SAID he was uncomfortable with a party.”

Are you team office birthday, or team never be surprised? Do you know people who hate the attention birthdays can bring? What do you think of how this office crew reacted to this man’s request to not celebrate his birthday?