The jokey attempt to ruin a co-workers holiday - that ended up getting all workplace pranks banned
In London, Ontario, city council employees are now banned from pulling practical jokes on each other, under the terms of a bylaw that was introduced after a 2004 prank went horrifically wrong.
Stressed community services manager Glenn Howlett was enjoying a well-deserved holiday - when his colleagues decided to panic him by emailing him to tell him that the deadline for a big, time-consuming project had been brought forward. Howlett suffered heart palpitations, was forced to quit work, and ended up taking premature retirement - and suing his employers.
"Everybody was pretty much in agreement with it," city controller Bud Polhill told the Globe and Mail after the practical joke ban was introduced. "It just takes away the potential for someone to be embarrassed or someone to be put in an unfortunate situation. We had an incident with an upper-level manager that created quite a problem. We just don't want these things to happen again."