Job Posting

July 29, 2010 - by: Brian Kurtz 6 COMMENTS

Alas, repeats. My able colleague, Jaclyn West, wrote about this week’s episode — The Chump — in her excellent post of May 14. But fear not. There is big news this week that demands its own post. NBC has confirmed that Steve Carell will leave The Office when his contract expires in 2011. Michael Scott’s seven-year reign as Scranton branch manager is coming to an end.

Michael Scott This blog has cause for concern. At least 80% of the potential liability we find in each episode is attributable directly to Michael Scott. Who can replace him? We need someone who can be combination leader/lawsuit-magnet. We need the next anti-Toby. Who’s ready to step up and be the new “World’s Best Boss” in Scranton? Consider the candidates:

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Sex Sells (OK, No It Doesn’t)

May 01, 2010 - by: Chris Butler 0 COMMENTS

Litigation Value: $250,000 for assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent hiring, and negligent entrustment.

Well, folks, the quintessential horndog – Michael Scott – is back on the stick. And this week, he didn’t disappoint. Michael’s recent announcement that this may be his final year sitting in the boss chair makes us wonder who will replace him; as if anyone could. We’ll address that later.

All right, so check it out: An attractive female, and potential Sabre customer, let’s just call her Donna (because that’s her name), visits the office dressed in eye-catching semi-business wear. Michael wastes no time in jokingly asking: “Did somebody order a hooker?” Soon thereafter, Michael interrupts Jim and Pam Halpert’s PowerPoint sales presentation by offering Donna a dog-eared Victoria’s Secret catalog. Michael further attempts to get Donna “turned on” by hijacking the presentation, superimposing wistful photos of himself, both fully clothed and facetiously standing behind a semi-nude strongman cutout (including an unnamed underwear model).

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Solicitation Defamation

April 02, 2009 - by: Troy Foster 1 COMMENTS

Litigation Value: $75,000

No new episode this week (darned ER series finale), but that doesn’t mean there isn’t activity in Scranton. Shortly after Michael’s departure from Dunder Mifflin last week, Michael sent out an email to job seekers about the Michael Scott Paper Company. It read:

Dear whom it may concern,

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The Right Interview Questions

August 21, 2008 - by: Troy Foster 0 COMMENTS

We’re in the middle of election season and the race for the White House. When you’re deciding between McCain and Obama, perhaps it would help if you treated the election like what it really is: a job interview.

Sometimes the questions the candidates are asked are ridiculous (boxers or briefs), and sometimes the answers the candidates give are ridiculous (they misunderestimated me!). But are these examples that different from actual experiences we’ve all had in interviews, or from questions that Dwight asked Andy during his interview for the Assistant to the Regional Manager job when they thought Michael Scott was leaving? (What is the best color? How do you make a table? What is the capital of Maine?) Well, maybe.

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Beach Day Revisited

September 14, 2007 - by: Julie Elgar 1 COMMENTS

Companies that use pre-employment tests to screen applicants should, at the very least, make sure that the skills being tested are those skills that the position requires. Holding a Survivor-like contest to determine who will be recommended for a promotion to regional manager does not pass this test. Not even a little bit. Indeed, tests that are more job-related have been found to have a discriminatory impact on applicants in protected categories.

Take, for example, the Dial Corporation. Earlier this year, the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a $3.4 million jury verdict for Dial’s use of a discriminatory “work tolerance test” that asked applicants to carry a 35-pound bar back and forth between two frames for seven minutes in front of an occupational therapist. If that cost $3.4 million, imagine how much Dunder Mifflin is on the hook for after using fire walking, hot dog eating, and sumo wrestling as tests for becoming the regional manager of a paper company.

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Categories: Hiring

Beach Games

May 11, 2007 - by: Julie Elgar 3 COMMENTS

LITIGATION VALUE: $300,000+

Holding a Survivor-like contest to determine who will be recommended for a promotion to regional manager is not going to end well for Dunder Mifflin. At all. If the decision is challenged (which it almost certainly will be) then the company is going to be asked to articulate a legitimate nondiscriminatory reason for the selection. And I don’t think that an individual’s inability to eat an obscene amount of hot dogs, their prowess in inflatable sumo wrestling suits, or their willingness/unwillingness to walk through burning coals is going to be a very persuasive explanation. It becomes even less persuasive when considered in light of Michael’s generally egregious conduct. Like, for example, admitting that you are considering Stanley only because of his race and being wholly dismissive of promoting women.

Borrowing a line from the Kenny Rogers song that the employees sang on the bus, companies “should know when to walk away and know when to run” from managers who do not base employment decisions on business-related criteria. When a manager has openly mocked the company’s diversity program, sabotaged its sexual harassment training, and routinely stereotyped employees based on protected categories, the time has come for Dunder Mifflin to run away. As fast as it can.

Categories: Hiring / Michael Scott

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