Michigan Assistant Attorney General Fired After Targeting Openly Gay Student Leader

Andrew Shirvell, Assistant Attorney General for Michigan, was fired after a serious of incidents involving an openly gay University of Michigan student.  Shirvell reportedly violated office policies, engaged in borderline stalking behavior, and inappropriately used state resources.  Shirvell’s target was an University of Michigan’s student body president Chris Armstrong.  Shirvell had started a blog about the student, titled “Chris Armstrong Watch,” claiming Armstrong was a “racist, elitist liar” and “privileged pervert.”  Although Shirvell’s speech may have been protected under the First Amendment, Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox stated Shirvell’s dismissal was warranted due to actions “unbecoming a state employee” that went beyond the blog.  Shirvell reportedly stalked and harrassed Armstrong and his friends.  Armstrong’s attorney stated that her client was satisfied with Shirvell’s dismissal, but plan to continue to have Shirvell disbarred as a licensed attorney in Michigan.  Full article:  cnn.com

A recently enacted bullying law in New York enables all employees, whether working for a small or large company, to hold an employer responsible for a hostile work environment.  However, prior to filing a lawsuit, a plaintiff will have to notify his or her employer of a pattern of abuse and must give the employer time to address the issue. Workers will also have to prove an employer acted maliciously.  Despite the steps an abused employee may have to take, this landmark law will enable employees to stand up for their rights and demand respect.  

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