BAE sued for firing cryptographer who was looking after dying wife

A new lawsuit by cryptographer Don Davis casts the multinational defense giant BAE Systems as a rather unpleasant employer.

The Boston Globe reports that on his first day on the job, Davis explained that his wife had late-stage cancer. He would work his full work day in the office, but if he was needed nights or weekends, he’d want to work from home.

His supervisor was fine with it, but the human resources department fired him on the spot after four hours of employment.

Across the pond, the lawsuit has raised the question about whether employment law requires corporations to have the same level of decency we expect from individuals. After all you don’t slap someone about because their wife is dying.  What is telling also is that it was not that he was asking for “time off” to look after his sick wife, just not work stupid hours in the office.

Don Davis’ lawyer, Rebecca Pontikes, contends he was discriminated against because the company “requires its male employees to be the stereotypical male breadwinner and to leave family responsibilities to women”.

BAE issued a statement to The Boston Globe saying: “We do not tolerate discrimination of any kind and work hard to provide our employees with flexible working options that enable them to have a meaningful work/life balance.”