Office Romance Leads to Robbery

October 24, 2008 - by: Troy Foster 4 COMMENTS

Litigation Value: $0.

Shockingly, I don’t think Dunder Mifflin can be held liable for any conduct in the “Crime Aid” episode of The Office. That doesn’t mean I think it’s advisable for Michael Scott and Holly to be messing around at work, for Phyllis to auction off sexual favors (“hugs”), or for Dwight to point to his crotch and tell Phyllis that Angela would be “saying goodbye to this.” But it does mean that I don’t think the company can be held liable for any illegal conduct. Yet.

As refreshing as it is to see the HR department represented more positively by Holly than it was by Toby, you have to worry for Dunder Mifflin when Holly does things like sleep with Michael — on the third date,  no less. And forgetting to lock up the place after an at-work make-out session, leading to a robbery.

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Baby in the Office: A Slippery Situation

October 17, 2008 - by: Kylie Crawford 1 COMMENTS

Litigation Value: Currently, $0

My stomach still hurts from laughing. This week on The Office, Michael Scott prepared for the birth of his make-believe baby by having Dwight Schrute, pant-less and on Michael’s desk, give birth to a buttered-up watermelon, all the while screaming about secretly marking the baby so no one could steal it.  Michael then ate his buttered watermelon baby.

Oddly enough, this offensive (read: incredibly funny) scenario is not the “pregnancy problem” in this episode. Michael did not discriminate against anyone based on pregnancy and no one suffered any sort of adverse employment action. Michael appeared to be truly excited that Jan was pregnant (or so he thought). This doesn’t mean that this type of behavior should be condoned. A story of grown men running around the office screaming, “My cervix is ripening!” and pretending that their water has broken would look really bad in front of a jury should some sort of pregnancy or sex discrimination claim arise.  But Holly should be far more concerned about Stanley than Michael in this episode.

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Where’s the Beef?

October 10, 2008 - by: Troy Foster 2 COMMENTS

Litigation Value: Surprisingly, maybe $0

Maybe this is just a reflection on me and my days as an HR Director, but I didn’t see much that would really nail Dunder Mifflin this week. Sure, Meredith has been having an affair with a vendor to get discounts for the company. But it didn’t come out that management suggested, encouraged, or even knew about it. When they found out, Holly pressed on and investigated and found that Meredith really enjoys her steak. Now, Dunder Mifflin should have probably counseled Meredith against it, and maybe changed vendors; but termination would have been risky. So, good job. What am I saying?

When faced with the possibility of terminating Meredith, Michael’s initial reaction was “hell no, she’s family.” However, it seems that he came to the realization that he works in an office — and he’s going to have to make tough decisions about people that he’s developed close, personal relationships with at work. (OK, I sure hope that Michael stops coming to realizations and learning! Ugh!)

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Joking About Homosexuality at Work Is No Laughing Matter

October 06, 2008 - by: Troy Foster 1 COMMENTS

The second week of the new TV season and no new episode. Seriously. Not cool.

Since I already wrote about Sarah Palin a few weeks ago, I’m just going to use something I didn’t cover in last week’s episode.

There was a funny part where Oscar played a joke on Holly about being offended with her comment that maybe she should turn into a lesbian. Holly saw her life (or at least her career in HR) flash before her eyes as Oscar said with a straight face, “Oh, you think it’s a choice.”

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