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3 Things ‘The Office’ Taught Me About Employment Law (Part 2)


Michael_Scott_2_The_Office_Steve_CarellSummary: Using examples from a renouned TV uncover The Office, this mainstay discusses since workplace assault is an emanate companies should take really seriously. (This essay is a second in a three-part series; we can review a initial essay here.)

Question. Who is a many deadly impression from The Office? Jim Halpert? False. That respect belongs to non other than Mr. Dwight K. Schrute. Assistant to a Regional Manager. Loyal Dunder Mufflin employee. A risk to many everybody around him.

Fans of The Office know that Dwight took a personal reserve of Dunder Mifflin Scranton employees seriously. He customarily had a accumulation of weapons dark on his person, in and around his desk, and strategically via a bureau in box of an astonishing attack. This was obvious to his co-workers and management. When asked about gripping weapons in a workplace, Dwight once explained:

People say, ‘oh it’s dangerous to keep weapons in a home, or a workplace.’ Well we say, it’s improved to be harm by someone we know, accidentally, than by a stranger, on purpose.

So, what can Dwight learn us about practice law?

Lesson No. 2: Workplace assault contingency be taken seriously.   

In one episode, Dwight’s mania with personal reserve indeed paid some dividends. One of a Dunder Mifflin room workers, Roy Anderson (who was formerly intent to marry a branch’s secretary, Pam Beesly), comes into a bureau to confront salesman Jim Halpert after training that Jim kissed Pam after an bureau party. As Roy charges Jim with fist raised, Dwight, whose table was right beside Jim’s, sprayed Roy with peppers spray.

Roy was dismissed by a company, and everybody in a bureau deliberate Dwight a favourite of a day. In a way, he was. He prevented earthy assault in a workplace with non-lethal force.

Later in a episode, however, another Dunder Mifflin employee, Andy Bernard, earnings to work following an extended leave of deficiency to take annoy government classes. When Dwight sees him entering a office, what does he do? He of march peppers sprays him.

At that point, a office’s tellurian resources officer, Toby Flenderson, wakes adult and decides he should do something about Dwight’s cache of weapons. He righteously goes to Dwight and confiscates everything, including the peppers spray, a taser, a boomerang, handcuffs, a nightstick, a span of coronet knuckles, and a samurai sword.

In another after episode, Dwight is promoted to a Regional Manager position on an halt basis. Dwight of march lets a energy go to his conduct and comes into a bureau one day wearing a cowboy-style six-shooter in an elaborate holster. He of march incidentally discharges a gun in a bureau when he tries to whirl it around his finger and into a holster like Wyatt Earp. Dwight was private from a position of halt Regional Manager.

While Dwight’s shenanigans were waggish on The Office, they prominence some really critical and critical issues.

According to a U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), of a 4,679 deadly workplace injuries that occurred in a United States in 2014, 403 were workplace homicides. Furthermore, OSHA reports that scarcely dual million American workers news carrying been victims of workplace assault any year. Those are sobering statistics.

Companies need created policies on workplace assault that are distributed to all employees. More importantly, we believe, companies need to sight managers and supervisors on how to commend and reasonably residence suspected or tangible incidents of workplace violence. This is generally critical where jobs involving risk factors for workplace assault are concerned.

OSHA identifies a following as risk factors: jobs involving a sell of income with a public; positions in that a worker works with volatile, inconstant people; jobs in that a worker works alone or in removed areas; positions in that ethanol is served; operative late during night; and operative in areas with high crime rates.

On The Office, Dunder Mifflin government incited a blind eye towards Dwight’s aroused tendencies and his storage of weapons in a workplace. This was presumably since Dwight was such a goober and pronounced things like this:

In an ideal universe we would have all 10 fingers on my left palm and a right one would only be left for punching.

When we die, we wish to be solidified . . . we will arise adult stronger than ever, since we will have used that time, to figure out accurately since we died. And what moves we could have used to urge myself improved now that we know what reason he had me in.

While no one took Dwight seriously, all got really genuine when Dwight incorrectly pepper-sprayed an trusting co-worker and liberated his gun in a workplace. In a genuine world, we unequivocally wish that any association with an worker like Dwight would have taken movement many progressing by explaining a company’s zero-tolerance workplace assault process and by training Dwight’s administrator to brand and act on any inapt behavior.

So take a doctrine from Dwight K. Schrute: If not taken seriously, workplace assault can have some comfortless consequences for everybody involved.

Earlier: 3 Things ‘The Office’ Taught Me About Employment Law (Part 1)


evan-gibbsEvan Gibbs is an profession during Troutman Sanders, where he essentially litigates practice cases and handles normal labor matters. Connect with him on LinkedIn here, or e-mail him here. (The views voiced in this mainstay are his own.)


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