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 to meeting the requirements of the WARN Act. And as we all know, turmoil breeds litigation. Under WARN, certain employers must provide notice to employees when a facility or “operating unit” is shut down. I can’t tell from this episode whether or not Dunder Mifflin would have been subject to WARN, but if it was, I feel confident in saying that “we’re screwed” is not going to constitute proper notice.