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Mother Reportedly Forced To Remove Photos Of Deceased Daughter From Cubicle

Posted by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 12:12 AM
  • 25 Replies

Cecelia Ingraham, New Jersey Mother, Reportedly Forced To Remove Photos Of Deceased Daughter From Cubicle (POLL)

Mother Grieve

The Huffington Post      First Posted: 9/9/11 06:43 PM ET Updated: 9/10/11 10:43 AM ET

Almost two years after her daughter Tatiana's death, Cecelia Ingraham was reportedly forced by her boss to remove photos of her daughter from her cubicle, as well as Tatiana's ballet slippers, Courthouse News Service reported.

Ingraham sued her workplace, Ortho-McNeil, Johnson & Johnson and DeStefanis for discrimination, constructive discharge and intentional infliction of emotional stress.

The publication went on to describe the incident in question:

"He [Ingraham's boss] allegedly told her that several of her co-workers had complained about her tendency to talk about her daughter's death, which made them uncomfortable. And he said she could "no longer speak of her daughter because she is dead" and should act as if her daughter 'did not exist,' the ruling states."

ABC news had more on Ingraham's reaction:

“I was still in shock. Nothing was coming out of my mouth at the time because I was still in shock and I was in disbelief,” Ingraham testified. “And I said to him, I cannot believe that. I says, I don’t see anybody avoiding me. They always come over, they give me my work.”

Afterward, Ingraham left work and didn't come back, according to ABC. A few days later she had to have heart surgery for sudden heart palpitations. Soon after her recovery, Ingraham resigned from the job and entered the lawsuit.

The New Jersey courthouse ruled against Ingraham, however, saying that the defendant did not intentionally inflict emotional stress on the mother.

The reason? According to the presiding judge, Judge Victor Ashrafi, the workplace is too complex to concretely narrow down motives.

"The workplace has too many personal conflicts and too much behavior that might be perceived as uncivil for the courts to be used as the umpire for all but the most extreme workplace disputes."

According to The Daily Mail, Tatiana wasdiagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia in 2003, but fought it into remission. Sadly, two years later the cancer returned, and she eventually died in May of that year.

by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 12:12 AM
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Replies (1-10):
mamaof2angles
by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 1:03 AM
She should act like she never had a daughter? Im not really suprised some employers/bosses are insentive a**holes
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rfurlongg
by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 7:53 AM
I am always stunned at how little compassion we have for each other.
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GLWerth
by Gina on Sep. 14, 2011 at 7:57 AM

Wow, zero compassion for a woman who suffered a devastating loss.

Just don't talk about it.....staggeringly cruel.

glitterteaz
by Ruby Member on Sep. 14, 2011 at 8:13 AM

She deserves to win that suit! How horrible.

DeathGoddess
by Member on Sep. 14, 2011 at 8:17 AM

WOW...THATS SO SAD

H.M.Wright
by Member on Sep. 14, 2011 at 8:30 AM

I don't think it's inappropriate to ask her not to talk about her dead daughterat work, her coworkers went to the boss because it made them feel uncomfortable (i can understand why they wouldn't want to tell her directly). The workplace is not a place to go over personal issues like that. I think her boss handled it sooo wrong though, to tell her to pretend her daughter didn't exist and making her remove her daughterspicture that is really sad and insensitive of him.

dustinsmom1
by JENN on Sep. 14, 2011 at 8:32 AM

 Unless they have strict office policies against personal affects in their cubicles, this is complete and utter bullshit.

romalove
by Roma on Sep. 14, 2011 at 9:28 AM


Quoting H.M.Wright:

I don't think it's inappropriate to ask her not to talk about her dead daughterat work, her coworkers went to the boss because it made them feel uncomfortable (i can understand why they wouldn't want to tell her directly). The workplace is not a place to go over personal issues like that. I think her boss handled it sooo wrong though, to tell her to pretend her daughter didn't exist and making her remove her daughterspicture that is really sad and insensitive of him.


You know....I was trying to picture how this really went down.  I was picturing someone who works closely in close quarters with a lot of people (the word "cubicle" did that for me), and every time they come to her for any reason, she is surrounded with pictures and paraphernalia of the dead daughter, and feels compelled to talk about it.  I can sort of "get" where this could interfere with business and make the other people in the office feel uncomfortable.

My daughter had a pre-school teacher who lost a son in a motorcycle accident on an Easter Sunday.  It was a horrific thing to go through.  Every time I saw her (my daughter had moved beyond pre-school), would run into her in the store, etc., she would talk about her son.  In fact, she would forget she had already talked to me about it and invariably the first thing she would say to me was "Did you hear about Robby?"  She didn't make me uncomfortable, and I was glad to listen to her, but her feeling of being compelled to talk about him and the accident and her loss all the time is likely not specific to her, but to anyone in this sort of situation (or most people, I also know a man who lost his son to a drowning who completely withdrew and didn't talk to anyone).

At any rate....my heart goes out to this poor woman who has lost her child, the worst thing that could ever happen, and wish that the office had handled the situation with more compassion.

Erimar23
by Gold Member on Sep. 14, 2011 at 9:40 AM
So sad....i hope she wins her case
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Traci_Momof2
by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 9:44 AM

I'm a little confused yet.  At first, by reading the title of the article, I was under impression that the woman had pictures of her actual dead daughter up in her cubicle - as in, pictures of the dead body - and my thought was 'why in the world would someone want to put up pictures of that'.  But you're all telling me it was just pictures of her daughter when she was alive, who now is dead?  And is it the pictures that are the conflict in the workplace or is it the constant talking of her daughter that is the conflict in the workplace?  I am so confused but I think it's the title of the article that is confusing me.  I'm going to go back and re-read now.

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