Litigation Value: Call it what you will — a get-together, party, or bacchanalia. By any name, tonight’s gathering at the soon-to-be-former home of Robert California could prove costly for both Dunder Mifflin Sabre and its chief executive.
“Are you ready for some meatballs?” At night’s end, The Office‘s figurative answer to that literal question by Stanley (a/k/a Dwight’s carnivorous co-conspirator) was definitely “No” — that is, if the exodus of swimmers from the indoor pool of their au naturel boss was any indication.
By now, our most faithful readers should be well aware that potential employment law liability is not confined to the physical boundaries of the workplace. Whenever co-workers convene off-site, it will be possible that whatever happens in Vegas (or at an employee’s home, or at the hotel where the board meets, or at the resort where the sales team is rewarded, etc.) will not stay there. If you add senior executives — or even mid-level managers — to the mix, the legal risk only increases. That holds true whether the venue is a bar, a beet farm, or a Civil War battlefield.
To Kevin’s obvious delight (sorry, Oscar), tonight’s party beyond Robert’s “gateway” may have been created spontaneously. But even so, the personnel on hand could later claim that their attendance was required — or at least expected or encouraged — by company management. Factor in Dwight’s near-drowning at the behest of Erin (who tried to use a vigorous chicken fight as a means of keeping Andy from “get[ting] his monog on” with Jessica), the reckless cannonball of Darryl (whose “top layer hasn’t burned off yet”), and the likely roadside sobriety check awaiting Jim (who should have called it a night before the tour passed through the wine closet and set in motion Toby’s “dangerous game”), and the liability meter could soon be running.
Calmed by thoughts of a poolside Creed strumming his guitar while wearing a tiara (and not much else), we would be remiss in not thanking those of you who voted for us in the ABA Journal‘s most recent Blawg 100 competition. Although we once again snagged only a silver medal in the “For Fun” category, our experiences in 2010 and 2011 have conditioned us to expect only bridesmaid status — albeit without the unwanted attention Pippa gets!