The Deposition

November 16, 2007 - by: Julie Elgar 0 COMMENTS

LITIGATION VALUE: $200,000 (including Dunder Mifflin’s attorneys fees and deposition costs)

Well, it finally happened. An employee has sued Dunder Mifflin for wrongful termination. I’m not usually one to say “I told you so” but, somehow, I just can’t stop myself this morning.

While it is probably not illegal to fire someone for getting a boob job, it is certainly illegal to fire someone based on gender stereotypes or characteristics. Unfortunately for Dunder Mifflin, it seems like this may be where Jan is headed. And that just can’t be welcome news for David Wallace and the gang.

Even with Michael Scott’s testimony, I’d say that Dunder Mifflin’s case has some problems. Not only did the company violate its own policy with regard to “love contracts” but, even worse, it has inconsistently applied the “love contract rule.” In my line of business, we call that evidence of pretext, which can really drive a settlement value up. Plus, despite what Jan may think now, Michael’s testimony might not be that bad for her case. Sure he went “off message,” but he is also a regional manager who just referred to his former supervisor’s breasts as “the twins.” Under oath. That just doesn’t look good. At all.

At the end of the day, Jan won’t get four million, but she will probably still get a chunk of change. And Dunder Mifflin may want to make that offer sooner rather than later.

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