That's What She Said

Do You Need to Pump?

Employment law attorney Dominic Verstegen discusses Dunder Mifflin’s liability for Michael Scott’s actions in the “Lecture Circuit” episode of “The Offfice” should Karen decide to sue for pregnancy discrimination.

Litigation Value: $200,000

Although there were several objectionable/actionable incidents on the Lecture Circuit (Part I) episode of The Office, what stood out to me was Michael’s abhorrent treatment of Karen. It takes someone truly special to do something to cause a pregnancy discrimination claim.

Michael referred to Karen as knocked up, big as a house, and asked her if she needed to breast-pump when she raised her hand to ask him a question. Not surprisingly, this isn’t cool. Even though Michael isn’t Karen’s supervisor, his conduct can still create liability for Dunder Mifflin.

Not only does Karen have a potential lawsuit against the company, but other “unintended listeners” do, too. Even people who aren’t pregnant could be offended by Michael’s statements and could bring a claim.

Stay tuned for part two of the episode next week. Let’s all hope that Michael is so distracted by his love for Holly that he isn’t able to get into any more trouble with the law.