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April 30, 2009 - by: Dominic Verstegen 1 COMMENTS

Litigation Value: $0

Since Troy is away on business, I’m guest-blogging again. And what a week to do so –- there’s a lot to talk about from the “Casual Friday” episode.

Although many HR folks can appreciate HR director Toby Flenderson’s dilemma dealing with employees taking casual Friday too far, there wasn’t a lot in terms of litigation value with everything that was happening. Arguably, Meredith Palmer flashing everyone for what seemed like an eternity could lead to a hostile work environment claim. But Toby did step in and rectify the situation pretty quickly, which would help prevent a claim. He also dealt with Angela Martin’s complaint about Oscar Martinez pretty well –- if you don’t like Oscar’s sandals, don’t look at his feet.

Actually, Angela’s comment about Oscar looking like he just got off the boat could have been a pretty good start to a hostile work environment claim, but she didn’t say that in front of Oscar, so even that wouldn’t end up costing Dunder Mifflin anything.

What about Michael Scott’s typical, wildly inappropriate behavior? He was openly favoring certain employees, and then making horrible jokes to employees about letting them go.  (By the way, referring to a termination as “letting someone go” is about as accurate as Michael’s coffee cup saying “world’s best boss”). Surprisingly, even this conduct is probably not enough for someone to make a claim against him. Maybe if he kept joking about firing someone for a long period of time, causing them severe emotional distress.  But really, would Michael do that? Well….

At the end of the day, I just don’t see any judgments against the company, despite the flashing, the joking, the threatening (“you look like a trout” — is that a threat in Scranton?), and even the pony sandwich.

Maybe next week. Check back to see what in the world they’re up to in Scranton during the “Cafe Disco” episode.

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1 COMMENTS

1 Joe
09:53:06, 05/05/09

Michael Scott is just crazy. That he would even consider hiring Ryan again is insane. I’m still shocked that Dunder Mifflin Corporate would allow Ryan anywhere near their offices.

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