Federal Employee Disciplined After Gas Log Details Excessive Workplace Flatulence

250px-Gas_mask_MUA_IMGP0157In one of the more novel federal disciplinary actions that I have encountered, a federal employee in Baltimore was given a formal reprimand for excessive workplace flatulence — a reprimand that involved a remarkably wide range of reviews and supervisory interventions. The 38-year-old Maryland employee, who insists that he is lactose intolerant, was the subject of an actual log recording his “release[] [of] the awful and unpleasant odor.”


The December 10th letter detailed the flatulence basis for the change of “conduct unbecoming a federal officer” by the Social Security Administration employee and how his “uncontrollable flatulence” had created an “intolerable” and “hostile” environment for coworkers. The letter states that, despite his claims of a medical reason for the gas, there is no evidence of a medical condition by the employee to establish “uncontrollable flatulence.” The employee is represented by the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), which has supplied the gaseous worker with a lawyer (and presumably a breathing apparatus). One site has shown the employee posing with a Disney character. You guessed it, it is Pepe Le Pew.

The letter details a series of meetings with supervisors over the course of months. Interventions sought to stop the employee from turning on his fan during eruptions which tended “to spread and worsen the air quality in the module.” In another meeting a third supervisor was called in and this SSA “Deputy Division Director” warned the worker about his “continuous releasing of your bodily gas and the terrible smell that comes with the gas.” The worker told the manager that he was thinking of buying Gas-X after

He was finally presented with a log showing “the time of your flatulence” — listing 17 separate dates (and 60 specific times). Notably, on September 11th, the worker was accused for releasing gas on three separate occasions.

Now here is my question. How does the SSA quantify or measure the level of flatulence as the basis for a formal disciplinary measure? I am not sure of the baseline if some flatulence is considered normal and permissible. We have seen actual flatulence-based criminal charges which have the same interpretive problem. Moreover, if the employee is lactose intolerant, does this make the gas a medically protected condition or disability? I assume that lactose intolerance is considered a controllable condition and does not constitute a disability — except to those around you.

If this is considered controllable, would the continued release constitute a form of battery or negligence or nuisance or even an intentional infliction of emotional distress?

What do you think?

Source: ABC

46 thoughts on “Federal Employee Disciplined After Gas Log Details Excessive Workplace Flatulence

  1. Beverliiie, you speak like a hater, i understand but i know how its hard for them, do you want them to suicide, i know they are who dont take a bath, but there are who are suffering inside cause nobody can’t understand only the doctor, even the doctor might not understand, i use to speak like you but noww i know, they have all the competencies to speak like you, to do more than you but all they eat comes out and they are hiding in their room crying every day, now they read that news they might think that they can’t even work and some young will stop study, maybe it is begun with constipation and its becomes like that, peace to their bodies, i hope healthy for all of us, when fool take pilule it calms out but when they take it adds the stomach trouble hoo lord is there anybody who can understand…. But if we try to support they will not stress a lot and it will restablish their body cause when they are at a confortably place it never happens..

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