Woman Says Her Boss Told Her Any Idiot Can Avoid Jury Duty

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A woman sued Agoura Hills-based Farmers Financial Solutions sued her former employer today, alleging she was forced to quit her job because her boss was upset that she reported for jury duty and told her that “any idiot can get out” of serving.

Cindi Meyer alleges the company is liable for wrongful termination, intentional infliction of emotional distress and jury duty leave discrimination in violation of the state Labor Code. She is seeking unspecified damages.

Farmers Financial Solutions LLC is a subsidiary of Farmers Insurance Group and provides investors and business owners with recommendations on developing a money management strategy.

A Farmers representative did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Meyer, 45, was hired in October 2000 as a licensing contractor and was later promoted to a manager, according to her court papers.

“Meyer worked diligently in her position and performed her job duties in an exemplary manner for almost 14 years,” the suit states. “She received positive performance reviews during her employment.”

In August 2014, Meyer received a summons for jury duty, but decided to postpone it to the end of October because the company was preparing to implement a new automating process program, which was scheduled to be operable in January 2015, the suit says.

Meyer alleges that when told her boss, Courtney Saye, that she had been summoned for jury duty, the supervisor responded, “Any idiot can get out of jury duty. What's wrong with you?”

Meyer knew that Saye was not joking because she sounded serious and they did not have that kind of working relationship, according to the suit. The plaintiff “understood it as a clear direction to get out of jury service” and “was so shocked by Saye's comment that she did not say anything in response and left Saye's office,” the complaint says.

When Meyer reported for jury duty, she was selected for a panel that involved several defendants, so the process took a few days and she missed about five days of work in total, according to her court papers.

Before her first day of jury duty, Meyer recalled Saye's comment and suffered a severe panic attack, prompting her to go to a hospital emergency room, the suit alleges. She could not go to her physician's office because of her jury service commitment and had to schedule an appointment for the same day she was scheduled to return to work, the suit says.

When she went back to her job, she gave Saye a copy of her proof of jury service and told her about the doctor's appointment, but her boss was “dismissive,” the suit alleges.

Meyer's doctor told her she should take medical leave because of her immense stress and anxiety, and she notified both Saye and human resources, according to the suit.

Meyer alleges that at the end of her leave, she was forced to quit because of the “excessively high stress and anxiety in the workplace, the non- accommodation she had been afforded, retaliation and harassment.”

Photo: Getty Images

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