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Ford & Harrison Attorney Launches an HR Blog Tracking the Antics of NBC's The Office -- That's What She Said Assigns Probable Litigation Costs to Each Episode


Ford & Harrison LLC
Contact: Maggie Schmerin

Atlanta, Jan. 26, 2007 -- Outing a gay employee, forcing a female employee to act out a lesbian love scene as part of sexual harassment training, and mass emailing romantic pictures to the entire company -- such are the antics of Michael Scott, regional manager of Dundler Mifflin, the fictional paper company that serves as the setting for NBC's hit show, The Office.

If Michael was your boss what would you do in these uncomfortable situations? If you said, "sue for millions," you'd have a good case according to Ford & Harrison employment attorney Julie Elgar's new blog, That's What She Said. Launched today by M. Lee Smith Publishers LLC, a leading publisher of HR newsletters and journals, That s What She Said can be found at www.hrheroblogs.com.

Named after Michael's trademark punch line, That's What She Said puts a price tag on each episode, estimating how much the politically incorrect behavior of Michael Scott and Dunder Mifflin would cost real-life companies in litigation fines.

For instance, in the episode entitled "The Convict," Michael reveals to the entire office that employee Martin has a criminal history. According to Julie's blog, if it were a real life situation, Martin could file suit against Michael and the company for upwards of $500,000. The litigation value of the episode "Sexual Harassment" (in which the boss asks a female employee to act out a lesbian love scene during the company's anti-harassment training), is well over $700,000.

As someone who litigates employment disputes on behalf of management, Julie enjoys watching The Office, but also pays special attention to the legal consequences presented in each episode. Through her blog, Julie is able to provide HR executives and managers, as well as fans of the show, with a light and fun, but also educational take on today's workplace.

"The show is hilarious and the antics are, of course, overblown, but I think the reason The Office is so popular is because everyone can relate to it," said Julie. "Almost everyone has had to deal with inappropriate or borderline office behavior at some point in their careers, and this is a scary reality for HR managers. I hope my blog provides a fun, yet informative take on human resources and employment law," said Julie.

"Because the show itself is hilarious, I hope HR executives and managers will find the tone of That's What She Said light and fun. But the bottom line is that a real boss who behaved like Michael (as sweet and well intentioned as he is) would end up costing a real company millions. And that's no laughing matter," said Julie.

"As our first blog, That's What She Said provides a fun and interesting way to create a discourse about real life issues faced by HR managers and executives at businesses nationwide," explained M. Lee Smith editorial director, Tony Kessler. "We were excited by Julie's and Ford & Harrison's idea to parlay the pop cultural phenomenon that is the show into something that HR executives and managers can use as a tool in their jobs."

Entries for each episode of the current season can be found on That's What She Said at www.hrherosblogs.com. Julie will post a new entry every Friday morning, following Thursday night's show. Readers of the blog are encouraged to visit before their first trip to the water-cooler and comment or submit questions.

Julie focuses her practice on employment litigation representing management. Her practice encompasses all areas relating to the counseling, training, and representation of management clients in federal and state courts, as well as before state and local agencies. She is a member of the State Bar of Georgia, the American Bar Association, and the Society for Human Resources Management. A graduate of Georgia State University College of Law, Julie is also a frequent speaker on issues related to employment law.
About M. Lee Smith Publishers LLC:

For 32 years, M. Lee Smith Publishers LLC has provided information products to the Human Resources and Legal communities. These products translate complex legal and regulatory developments into plain-English in the form of newsletters, books, videos, on-line services and conference calls. For more information call Pete McPherson at 615-661-0249, ext. 8057 or visit www.HRhero.com
About Ford & Harrison:

Founded in Atlanta in 1978, Ford & Harrison has built a national practice in all aspects of labor and employment law. The firm strives to provide clients with sound legal advice, practical counseling and excellent client service. For more information, visit www.fordharrison.com.


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