Phyllis’ Wedding

July 27, 2007 - by: Julie Elgar 0 COMMENTS

As I said before, being a jerk isn’t illegal.  Typically.  And Michael’s conduct, although extremely self-centered and rude, probably does not violate anything more than the accepted standards of conduct in polite society.  But rude conduct at work can be more problematic.  At least according to a recent case from the Delaware Supreme Court. Recently, the court held that an employee could bring suit against his co-workers for injuries he received in a prank gone wrong.  According to the case, co-workers detained the plaintiff in the bathroom and wrapped him from ankles to shoulders in duct tape (the case didn’t explain why but it is a story that I am dying to hear).  The plaintiff was injured and sued his colleagues.  Breaking from established precedent of dismissing such claims under the “workers compensation exclusivity” doctrine, the Court said that workplace horseplay can be so far removed from the scope of the prankster’s employment that it takes it out of workers compensation system and into court.

Some food for thought the next time that Jim decides to trick Dwight using Pavlov’s theories.

The Injury

March 30, 2007 - by: Julie Elgar 0 COMMENTS

Litigation Value $ 30,000 (or if Dwight’s injuries are permanent, then $500,000)

I don’t know whether a concussion suffered when rushing off to “save” your boss after he burns his foot on a George Foreman grill would be considered a workers’ compensation injury, but if it is, Dunder Mifflin (or, more accurately, their insurance carrier) is looking at paying Dwight some money. Under the workers’ compensation laws, Dunder Mifflin is probably on the hook for Dwight’s medical expenses and a percentage of his lost wages. On the bright side, these damages are far less than they would be in a tort action, which, luckily, Dwight would be precluded from bringing against the Company.

And no, a slightly toasted foot is not a disability under the ADA. While many impairments that you never dreamed would be considered a “disability” are often covered by the law, I just can’t see how this one would be. Nevertheless, Michael’s training to promote awareness about individuals with disabilities is probably not going to do much to get Dunder Mifflin out of the hot water it got itself into when Dwight re-did the health plan.

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