Jim, a top paper salesman, applies for a job with Dunder Mifflin Paper Company because of its focus on developing and selling environmentally friendly products. Michael, his new boss, calls his old boss at Staples to check his references. The Staples boss claims without any evidence that Jim may have been responsible when a number of supplies went missing from the office. Michael decides to hire Jim anyway because he is impressed with Jim’s resume, plus he thinks tall people make more successful salespeople. However, as a result of the conversation with the Staples boss, Michael offers Jim a lower salary than originally planned and tells Jim he’ll have to pass a 6-month probationary period before being offered a full-length contract.
1. What cause of action would Jim bring against Staples when he finds out about Staples’ negative reference? Who will likely win the lawsuit and why? Include any defense Staples might try to use.
Prior to his first day of work at Dunder Mifflin, Jim signs the employee handbook that all employees are required to sign which includes the following statements: “All communications and actions taken on company time or on company property, including those using company computers, may be monitored for security reasons. No information relating to environmentally-friendly product development procedures may leave the premises unless expressly authorized. For safety and security reasons, no paper products may be tested on anything other than the specially designed company copy machines. Employees who fail to comply with these rules risk disciplinary action.” Arriving at the office for his first day of work, Jim notices signs posted in the hallways, offices, and lunchroom stating that all employee activity in those areas are subject to security cameras. Additionally. Jim is asked to sign a release to agree to being included in filming of a documentary about Dunder Mirin, which he does. The release specifies that the filming will be limited to business-related topics only. After only a few weeks on the job. Jim is puzzled by some of the goings on in the office. He notices that people coming out of the copy room where the new paper is tested frequently smell like burning paper, and that the film crew is kept away from that room. While at lunch, he texts his new friend and co-worker Ryan about what he saw, and also mentions that he’d really like to date Pam (who works at the front desk) but that he’s not sure if the new medication he’s taking for ED (erectile dysfunction) is working yet. Unbeknownst to Jim. (and all other employees) the security camera in the lunchroom has a specialized, undetectable 200m (eature and it zooms in on his text and takes a picture of it. The next thing he knows. he’s getting funny looks from his co-WOrkers. Ryan shows him the picture of his ED text from the security camera that someone gave the film crew and that the crew included in the daily footage it shared with the entire company.
2. What cause of action(s) would Jim bring against Dunder Mifflin and the film crew for distributing the text he wrote? What would Jim have to show to win the lawsuit? (Discuss both the texting and the video survelliance of the texting.)
Indignant about how Dunder Mifflin treated Jim (and flattered that he’d like to go out with her), Pam sends an email from her office computer to a reporter in the hopes that the company’s inappropriate actions will be revealed to the public. When the reporter isn’t that interested, Pam also supplies her (the reporter) with a sample of Dunder Mifflin’s new completely organic and environmentally friendly paper that is also fire resistant. The reporter publishes the entire story, focusing particularly on how amazing the paper is. When the leak is traced back to her, Pam is asked to submit to a polygraph test. During the 75-minute test. not only is she questioned about how the reporter got the paper sample, but also if she has already slept with Jim and did his ED medication work. Based on the results of the test. Dunder Mifflin fires Pam.
3. What will be Dunder Mifflin’s best argument for subjecting Pam to the polygraph test and firing her and what will Pam’s best argument be to protest the firing?
Disturbed by the chain of events at Dunder Mifflin, especially because he was hoping to get more attention from the documentary camera crew, Dwight deals with the stressful environment at work by going to the local bar and drinking heavily. He does so for several days, including the day he was in charge of testing the new paper. As a result of his excessive drinking, he does not oversee the test properly and ends up setting the office on fire. When told that he will have to submit to a blood test to determine if he was under the influence, Dwight does so and is fired when the results come back positive for alcohol in keeping with Dunder Mifflin’s zero tolerance policy for on-the-job intoxication.
1. What would Dwight’s best argument be when he contests his firing? Identify another course of action that could benefit both under Mifflin and Dwight.
Michael decides it would be best to downsize given so much upheaval occurring at Dunder Mifflin, so he sends layoff notices to a number of employees, including Phyllis. Phyllis discovers that all of the employees being let go are older workers like herself, and informs Michael that she is going to pursue a discrimination claim against the company. Michael suggests that rather than wasting her money on a lawsuit, she would be better served if she accepted the company’s severance package in exchange for agreeing not to sue. He tells her the deal will only be on the table for three days.
Deciding it would be better not to risk losing a court case, Phyllis takes the deal.
2. Describe the cause of action Phyllis could have brought and if Michael’s conditioning the severance package on her refraining (rom suing Dunder Mifflin was appropriate.