That's What She Said

Quitting Time

Litigation Value: $60,000

Michael, Michael, Michael. What went wrong? What happened to turn you into this new, bitter man? And why couldn’t you have quit before you cost the company thousands more in potential judgments?

Before we get to Michael’s actionable conduct, let’s first touch on the new guy, Charles Minor. Fortunately, it is almost impossible for a manager to file a claim for sexual harassment, because the new Dunder Mifflin vice president was the target of some pretty disturbing (read: awesome) and unwanted flirtation. Kelly made no bones about her quest to get the “black George Clooney” to buy her a prime rib; and Angela wasn’t much better, stealing Charles’ scarf and being overly creepy and affectionate toward him. Even though Charles may not have a claim against the company, though, others might. The risk in this situation is that Kelly’s and Angela’s shenanigans could lead to an unintended victim claiming to be offended by their actions.

Still, unquestionably, the main bad actor in this episode was (again) Michael Scott. Michael is really in a funk lately. His actions were over the top and out of line. Again, it would be difficult for Charles to file a claim against the company for Michael’s actions. But Michael also targeted people he supervises -– he singled out Oscar for being homosexual, Angela for sleeping with “a bunch of guys in the office,” and Kevin for sleeping with no one from the office. Certainly Oscar and Angela could use those comments in a suit against the company, and Kevin probably could, too. Let’s call it $60,000 just to be safe.

Ironically, if I had to guess who would actually bring a lawsuit after this episode, I’d say Michael. Folks like him who quit after they feel like they’ve been wronged are (obviously) the first to bring claims against the company –- even if the company’s “bad actions” are things like cutting the party planning committee and discretionary spending budget. Sometimes no matter how reasonable management is (David Wallace and Charles were both very good for most of this episode), a company will get sued. This probably was one of those times.

On the bright side, the two-way petting zoo never got off the ground. That had liability written all over it!