No Shorty, This Is Not Harassment


One man’s fragile ego did not allow him to accept criticism about his height. Christian Ononye, an Amazon security guard, sued for workplace harassment, alleging that he was being ‘ridiculed’ for his dwarf height.

Ononye claims that his coworker compared his height to Gary Coleman, a famous actor on television with a short height of 4 feet 7 inches. The coworker would not just stop at the comparison as he pinned pictures of the child actor to the workplace walls.

Ononye’s case did not have plausible grounds because the picture only displayed Coleman’s head and shoulders. The court requires a full-body pose to back up the claims of height mockery.

Ononye made further claims regarding racial abuse by a colleague over the radio. According to his statement, the coworker said: “Christian, speak to me in English.” However, there were no witnesses who heard of such an interaction.

Richard Unitt, the site security manager, received complaints about the pictures plastered on the walls, and he got them removed. Unitt could not trace back to the person guilty of the art display because there was no CCTV coverage.

The tribunal dismissed Ononye’s allegations. Judge Robin Postle declared: “[Mr. Ononye] took offense at this, believing he was being made the subject of ridicule because of [his] height. Apparently, Mr. Coleman was of short stature. The picture does not in any way show that Mr. Coleman is of diminished stature.”

The judge ruled in favor of the company declaring its actions fell within its rights and duty. The coworker was not responsible for the harassment accusations.

A comparison to Coleman can be taken as a compliment too. After all, he was a successful actor, and Coleman had the highest pay for a child actor on television throughout the late 1970s and 1980s.


Related Content