Who Wants to Work at ISIS?

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, which means romance is in the air.  Romance is certainly in the air at ISIS – although maybe romance isn’t quite the right word to use for what’s going on at Mommy Dearest’s headquarters.  Hanky panky would be charitable.  A labor lawyer would call it a hostile work environment.Archer and romance

That’s right, I’m talking about Archer – the man and the show.  Could anyone be a better date for Valentine’s Day than Archer?  The answer, of course, is yes.  While he has some charm, it’s very limited and incredibly short lived.

The show itself, on the other hand, has a charm that lasts.  Archer, his mother, Lana, Pam, Cyril…they’re all fantastically horrible.  It’s like an animated work family version of Arrested Development (which makes sense, given the common matriarch they share).  It’s funny, quotable, and clever.  But I would never want to work there!

But if you were unlucky enough to be an employee there, would you have to put up with the verbal abuse, the sexual harassment, and the forced drug abuse?  No.  Get a lawyer immediately!  In order to establish a hostile work environment, the problematic behaviors or statements must usually be pervasive and last for a period or time or involve a single incident that was extraordinarily severe.  And the problems must be serious enough to actually alter or disrupt the conditions of the employee’s work environment.  Finally, the actions or problems must be related to a protected classification, such as the employee’s age, race, gender, or religion.  While not every offensive moment on the show targets a protected class, there’s enough there to start several lawsuits!

Most of the employees are guilty of creating a hostile work environment, but is ISIS responsible for its employees’ loathsome (but so watchable!) behavior?  ISIS could avoid liability if it could show (a) that the employer exercised reasonable care to prevent and correct promptly any sexually harassing behavior, and (b) that the plaintiff employee unreasonably failed to take advantage of any preventive or corrective opportunities provided by the employer or to avoid harm otherwise.”  See Burlington Indus. v. Ellerth, 524 U.S. 742 (1998).

SpyProfileOf course, ISIS hasn’t done anything to avoid liability – and its employees show no sign of stopping their offensive behavior.  As a viewer, I’m so glad no one has learned their lesson because I love every outrageous moment.  But if you’re going to work there, watch out: You’re heading into the Danger Zone!


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Jessica has been litigating business and IP disputes for the past decade. During that time, she’s dealt with clients, lawyers, and judges who have varying degrees of appreciation for the challenges of managing discovery in an electronic age. Until the fall of 2011, she was an attorney at a large, Texas-based law firm, where she represented clients in state and federal court nationwide. That fall, she made a long-desired move back to the Midwest and is now a partner at Hansen Reynolds Dickinson Crueger LLC, a litigation boutique based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she continues to litigate while also consulting with business and law firms on e-discovery issues (before, during, and after litigation arises).