That's What She Said

The Convict


I’d say that Martin (“the Convict”) Nash has a damn good race discrimination case. First his boss publicly humiliates him by announcing that he is a convict, and then, during the same speech, asks his co-workers to name trustworthy people so he can identify an African-American whom he trusts more. Who does he name? Danny Glover (whom he trusts more than Pam’s dad); Colin Powell (whom he trusts more than Justin Timberlake) and Apollo Creed (whom he trusts more than Jesus). Plus, I don’t think Dundler-Mifflin’s attorneys are looking forward to making the “because they didn’t like my racist impression of ‘Prison Mike,’ I locked them in the conference room so they would appreciate me more” argument to a jury. Call me crazy.

I’m also going to go out on a limb and say that locking your employees in a conference room is a bad idea. It could lead to a claim of false imprisonment. And because there are no statutory caps (in most states) for this type of claim, I think the company may have to cough up a bunch of money. Truthfully, I’ve never had a case where a manager has locked employees in a conference room. But when I sent a firm wide e-mail around to see if anyone else had, amazingly, there were attorneys who have handled similar claims. They tell me the cases were resolved for some pretty staggering figures. Plus, as any litigator knows, when Martin’s case goes to trial he will tell a tale of woe replete with “vicious” instances of pain, suffering and recurrent episodes of post-traumatic stress disorder. . . . But then again, I may just be a cynical couch potato.