Byron v. Mashantucket Pequot Gaming Enterprise
The standards of conduct of the Mashantucket Pequot Gaming Enterprise provide that an employee who engages in rude or discourteous conduct can be discharged. Patricia Byron, who is a member of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, was hired to work as a museum attendant at Foxwoods Casino. On July 29, 2012, Byron allegedly began to close an exhibit at the museum at 4:40 p.m., although the museum's operating hours were 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Allegedly, she locked the rear exits and turned off the lights, picked up her purse and started walking to the front, when a couple with two children approached. Byron allegedly informed the couple that the exhibit was closed. When they observed that the signs indicated that the exhibit was open until 5 p.m. and that they would not remain long, the worker allegedly responded, "My family owns it [the exhibit], and I said it's closed." (Byron denied that she made this statement.) Byron then contacted security and informed security personnel that the customers had "given her attitude," because she decided to close the exhibit. At a follow-up meeting with supervisors, Byron allegedly shouted and used foul language. She was discharged for allegedly exhibiting rude and discourteous conduct toward customers and co-workers. The Board of Review recommended reinstatement without back pay, provided that Byron participates in a customer service workshop and counseling. She appealed. Substantial evidence in the record supported the Board of Review's decision that Byron was rude and discourteous, because she allegedly turned away customers who arrived before 5 p.m. Although Byron claimed that she was the victim, the Board of Review was entitled to credit testimony that Byron allegedly was loud, aggressive and vulgar in a meeting to discuss the incident with a boss and co-workers. The standards of conduct provide that an employee who engages in rude and discourteous conduct can be discharged. The court was not persuaded that reinstatement without back pay, conditioned on Byron's participation in a customer service workshop and counseling, was inappropriate. The court dismissed the plaintiff's appeal.