Michael Rotondo, 30, refused to leave his parents’ home and claims he is “too busy to get a job,” so Mark and Christina Rotondo took their adult son to court to kick him out of the family nest.
It’s sometimes called “failure to launch” syndrome. Rotondo’s parents want him out at long last. The parents filed a court action on May 7, 2018, asking the system to tell their son to leave. The family lives in Camillus, New York, which is near Syracuse. Michael has lived in the home for at least eight of the last years of adulthood.
Federal court documents (which you can read later in this article) show he once sued Best Buy in Syracuse for gender discrimination after being terminated. Among his claims: He was upset they were trying to make him work Saturdays and wouldn’t put him in the cell phone department. He alleged the company treated female single parents differently than him, and the company alleged he abandoned the job.
Now, Rotondo has found himself the subject of an international news story and the butt of Twitter jokes. “Michael Rotondo… Has accomplished something rather exceptional. He’s managed to make himself less attractive to woman than a man living in his mothers basement, by being evicted from his mothers basement…” joked one man on the social media platform.
Villa Italian Kitchen, a pizza restaurant, is now offering Rotondo a job. It’s not clear whether Rotondo will take them up on it.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Rotondo Is Moving Into an Air BnB, Got Into a Final Dispute With His Dad Over Toys & Says Losing Custody Provoked It All
On June 1, 2018, Rotondo met the court-ordered deadline and moved out of his parents’ dwelling. InfoWars’ Alex Jones gave Rotondo $3,000 to appear on his show and Rotondo is using that to stay in an AirBnb, according to USA Today.
TMZ reported that the move didn’t go without a hitch, as Rotondo “called the cops on his father in the midst of the moving process because his dad refused to hand over some toys he wanted to pack for his child.”
Michael Rotondo appeared in court on May 22, 2018, and the judge in the case implored him to just move out on his own without the legal hassle. When that didn’t seem like it was going to happen, the judge, Donald Greenwood, ordered Rotondo to move, according to Syracuse.com. Rotondo has until June 1 to get out. “Mostly, I need to start packing my boxes so I can move,” he told Syracuse.com. “But I have to pay for the boxes, which might be a problem.”
“…after half an hour of back-and-forth, primarily between the son, Michael Rotondo, and the judge, the judge had had enough,” Syracuse.com reported, adding that the judge was concerned enough to ask adult protective services to look into what was going on. Syracuse.com was the first news site to break the story, which has gained international attention.
Rotondo refused the judge’s request that he speak directly with his parents and asked for six months more time to leave the residence, which the judge rejected, the Syracuse newspaper reported.
According to her LinkedIn page, Rotondo’s mother is a sales manager for a company that sells medical products and used to co-own a jewelry store in Syracuse. She has been a registered nurse, the page says.
In an interview with the UK Daily Mail after the court hearing, Rotondo blamed a custody issue. “Michael said that his issues with his parents, Mark and Christina, are tied to his custody battle over his son,” Daily Mail reported. “Michael says he lost custody of his son, whose age he wouldn’t disclose, back in September. The boy now lives with his mother full time, who Michael says he was never married to, or in a relationship with.”
Daily Mail said he explained “his job at the moment was getting his son back.” He told the British news site that he lived in his own apartment more than eight years ago but moved in with his parents when he lost a job. Daily Mail reported that Rotondo dropped out of community college and switched from engineering because he “couldn’t hack the math.”
2. Michael’s Parents Gave Him Five Written Notices Requesting That He Leave the Family Domicile
Frustrated that their 30-year-old son was still living at home, Mark and Christina Rotondo wrote him five written notices requesting that he vacate the house, according to court filings. One of them read:
2 February 2018
After a discussion with your Mother, we have decided you must leave this house immediately. You have 14 days to vacate. You will not be allowed to return. We will take whatever actions are necessary to enforce this decision.
Mark and Christina Rotondo
In one of their written requests, the parents offered to give their son $1,100 to go and included a list of suggestions:
1) Organize the things you need for work and to manage an apartment. Note: You will need stuff at [redacted]. You must arrange the date and time through your Father so he can set it up with the tenant.
2) Sell the other things you have that have any significant value, (e.g. stereo, some tools etc.). This is especially true for any weapons you may have. You need the money and will have no place for the stuff.
3) There are jobs available even for those with a poor work history like you. Get one — you have to work!
4) If you want help finding a place your Mother has offered to help you.
Yet another request from the parents read, “So far we have seen no indication that you are preparing to leave.” It adds, “Be aware that we will take any appropriate actions necessary to make sure you leave the house as demanded.”
Another letter states, “Michael Joseph Rotondo, You are hereby evicted from 408 Weatheridge Drive, Camillus, New York effective immediately…Any action you take that can be construed as threatening or harassing…us or prevents or obstructs our ability to use the house or property at 408 Weatheridge Drive as we see fit will result in your immediate removal from the premises.”
3. Rotondo Called the Judge’s Order ‘Ridiculous’ & Says Conservative Groups Taunted Him as a ‘Liberal Millennial’
After the judge’s ruling, Michael Rotondo spoke to the news media and expressed outrage. “It seems to me like I should be provided 30 days or so…so I’m expecting something like that, but realistically if somehow that’s not the case, I don’t know,” he said.
He added in the interview, “I do plan to appeal it… how it sounded, you know…” He said “it sounded like” he was being told to leave the residence that very day. It’s “ridiculous,” he stated.
Michael Rotondo told UK Daily Mail outside the courtroom, “I am just so outraged.” The British news site added that Rotondo says he has been “taunted by conservative groups for being a ‘liberal millennial.'” The site noted: “He also said his parents don’t provide food or do his laundry for him.”
One neighbor is siding with the parents, telling WRAL-TV, “I feel bad for both of them, because he’s not learning anything by staying at home and he’s just wasting their time and money.”
4. The Parents Say That Michael Doesn’t Help With Chores & Rotondo Previously Accused Best Buy of Treating Him Differently as a Male Single Parent
According to the parents’ court filings, it’s not just that their son is an adult and still living in their home. They alleged that he also was not pulling his weight around the house.
They alleged Michael doesn’t help with chores and doesn’t contribute to expenses, according to ABC 7. Michael labeled his parents’ efforts “retaliatory,” the news site reported.
In court filings, Michael admitted as much, UK Daily Mail notes, saying he “has never been expected to contribute to household expenses, or assisted with chores and the maintenance of the premises, and claims that this is simply a component of his living agreement.”
Daily Mail reports that Michael claimed to run a successful business, which was “the overwhelmingly superior choice for the economic well being over the working of a full-time job.”
According to federal court documents obtained by Heavy, Michael Rotondo once sued Best Buy:
The court documents say he alleged he was discriminated against due to his gender and wrote that he was “denied an accommodation, pressured” and was terminated. He alleged he was pressured to come to work on a holiday and was pressured to work Saturdays even though he claimed he was promised he would not have to work Saturdays “in perpetuity.” He wrote that he was denied the accommodation due to a court order, although he did not explain what he meant by that.
He later filed an amended complaint in federal court, writing, “I was qualified for the position…I was good with customers and I was a diligent worker. I was harassed with my parenting time with my son, by being scheduled unnecessarily on days that the Respondent knew I had parenting time with him.” He alleged this occurred in 2015 at a Best Buy store in Syracuse, New York.
He was upset that the store allegedly wouldn’t let him sell cell phones, court documents show.
He stated that Best Buy “perpetually and unfairly placed me in the ‘portable audio’ or ‘networking’ sections of my department, instead of placing me in the section of my department where the employees sold cellular phones. Selling cellular phones is much preferred amongst employees over being placed elsewhere in the department, and I could most effectively be capitalized on as an employee by being placed to sell cellular phones because of my experience in the cellular phone department.”
The court documents say that Rotondo claimed he was promised he wouldn’t have to work on Halloween 2015 and was reprimanded when he didn’t show up that day. “Other single parents who were females were not treated the same way that I was,” he alleged. He demanded $338,500 in damages.
In September 2017, Rotondo filed another federal court action. He alleged that he was denied due process by a New York judge who “declined to sign” his motion for order to show cause for a stay of a support order filed in Onondaga County Family Court.
Here’s a transcript from the Best Buy case.
In it, Rotondo revealed that he actually worked at Best Buy twice and once started a computer business. He said he earned $11.01 an hour at Best Buy. Best Buy’s lawyer told the court that all of the company’s part-time workers were required to work on weekends. The company alleged he “abandoned the job” by not showing up for shifts and refusing compromise offers. Rotondo is acting as his own attorney in the case.
5. ‘Failure to Launch Syndrome’ Has Been Called an Epidemic
Michael Rotondo is not alone. There is a trend of American young adults failing to launch, and there was even a movie made about it. “45 percent of young adults in New Jersey between the ages 18 and 34 now live with their parents,” according to Psychology Today. Some of those young adults are employed and still choosing to stay with mom and dad.
“Failure-to-launch is the collective name for the difficulties so many young people today are having in assuming the self-sufficiency and responsibilities of adulthood, and it is a rapidly growing problem,” the site reports.
Signs that a young person suffers from the syndrome include “Deflecting responsibility for their actions… Little motivation for activities that pertain to school and full-time work…Poor work ethic towards individual responsibilities,” reports Psychbytes. The site theorizes that the chaos in the world – such as school shootings in a post-Columbine era – has sent young people the message that the outside world is not safe.
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