Category: That’s What She Said

A blog by the attorneys at the law firm of Ford & Harrison about the popular television series “The Office.” Each article takes a look at a different episode, and summarizes the employment law lessons for the week.

The “Newpeats”

LITIGATION VALUE: STILL 300,000+ (for the time being. . . ) I don’t think that the “newpeats” introduced any new story lines that would significantly increase the litigation value for these episodes – for the time being. It would, after all, be harder to make things much worse. Having a regional manager tell a Hispanic […]

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Office Newpeats

I’m excited for this Thursday’s “newpeat.”  NBC will show two previously aired episodes (“Traveling Salesman” and “Oscar’s Return“) combined with new, never-before-seen moments.  One can only assume these never aired moments will include the antics we have come to expect from the Dunder Mifflin gang!  Stay tuned for my analysis on Friday.

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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 […]

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Some further thoughts from “Branch Closing”

There is a right way to announce a reduction in force to employees. Going around the office muttering phrases such as “do your work while you still can” or “it doesn’t matter, we’ll be gone in a few weeks anyway” under your breath isn’t it. In the real world, a company planning a RIF should […]

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Branch Closing

LITIGATION VALUE: $150,000 in defense costs — unless (and that is a big unless) the WARN Act applies. Call me crazy, but announcing “we’re screwed” is not the best way to tell employees that the Company is closing down its branch. Not only does it create turmoil among the employees, but it comes nowhere close […]

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Dwight on SNL

Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson) is hosting Saturday Night Live this weekend. I’m looking forward to watching it. I’ll post early next week if there’s anything on the show that relates to the blog.

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Cocktails

LITIGATION VALUE: $75,000 Nothing says “I love you” quite like a detailed legal contract acknowledging that you were neither coerced nor were promises made to entice you into entering into a relationship with your boss, and if the woman of your dreams becomes a nightmare, that you won’t sue your employer. Yes, love contracts actually […]

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Business School

LITIGATION VALUE: $30,000 (But it could have been much higher) “Business is always personal” is probably not the best motto for a manager. It could lead them to act impulsively. Like, say, moving an employee’s desk from the front of the office to an “annex” inhabited by the employee’s chatty, fashion-crazed, quasi (ex?) girlfriend as […]

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Phyllis and Bob’s Wedding

LITIGATION VALUE: $ 0.00 First off, let’s hear it for the HR Hero in last night’s episode. As he put it, “Toby, yeah!” I’m not sure what is going to happen with that story line, but it can’t be good that Hollywood thinks it’s funny for the HR manager to land an attractive model. Or […]

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Ben Franklin

LITIGATION VALUE: $800,000+ If an executive learns that a regional manager has sponsored a bachelor party in the warehouse, hired a stripper, offered to “deflower” the bride, taken an employee to a sex store, received a lap dance, and allowed a pervert dressed up like Benjamin Franklin to make a lewd statement to the receptionist, […]

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