Unlike The Office, the offices of Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Pryce in AMC’s hit show Mad Men do not have a resident human resources representative. And for good reason: from sexism to racism to fist fights to drinking, the Manhattan offices of Don Draper and Pete Campbell are a lawsuit waiting to happen. With Don Draper being such an icon (Ask Men‘s 2009 “Man of the Year”), the team of lawyers at Rocket Lawyer wanted to re-emphasize just how illegal a lot of the actions of the past 5 seasons have been. Surprisingly though, three of the fives can be tied to the otherwise timid Lane Pryce, whose was the host to a whole load of erratic behavior in the past season as he struggled with culture shock and existentialist crises.
The first two pieces of advice concern the sexism displayed throughout the series (and the 60s, for that matter). Obviously, in the modern office, sexually explicit comments have no place, and abusing one’s privileged position is both morally and legally wrong. The second focuses on a growing trend in the legal sphere: workplace anti-bullying legislation. While it may not be law yet, it may soon be. So, bosses, keep your criticism constructive and avoid ad hominens, especially when they connote prostitution.
The third legal lesson is that when hiring, employers must practice equal opportunity. In Mad Men, the partners often hire based on class (e.g. gender, race, religion) rather than merit. Fourthly, the Rocket Lawyer infographic references Lane’s act of embezzlement in the fifth season. Even with full intention to pay the company back, such forgery and theft risks jail time and can make one forever unemployable.
Lastly, it is only acceptable to engage in a fist fight in a situation of self defense. Honor, a challenge, or an admonishment to respect a women does not constitute a just cause to brawl. When Lane teaches Pete Campbell a lesson by knocking him out, it makes for good TV, but it also makes for a fairly serious crime. Overall, the take home is that the 60s were a different era in workplace rights and regulations. In our highly legalized, modern society, any of these violations could result in a serious lawsuit or jailtime.
View the complete infographic here.