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.