That's What She Said

The Merger

LITIGATION VALUE: Two weeks pay.

Michael’s theory that a merger is like a marriage is an interesting one. He just seems to have forgotten that more than half of all marriages end in divorce. This week’s “divorce” was with Anthony Gardner, the employee Michael drove away with his crazy antics. Indeed, if it wasn’t bad enough that Michael humiliated Anthony by trying to lift him onto the conference room table, he fired Anthony when he objected to his unconventional management style. And as so often is the case when Michael is involved, Dunder Mifflin had to step in and write a check.

Barring some sort of contractual arrangement, the company was under no legal obligation to pay Anthony any severance. They could have just sent him packing. But if your regional manager is going to show the new black employee where “the slaves” sit; tell a female employee that she looks “exotic” and then ask her if her father was a GI; or turn the company’s orientation into a rap video, then it may not be such a bad idea to pay a little bit of severance in exchange for the employee’s agreement to sign a full release promising not to sue the company. Let’s see, a Company gives someone a sum of money so that they will never have to see or hear from them again — well, maybe a merger is a little like a marriage after all . . . .