To: All Personnel
Date: April 1, 1985
From: The Management Copies
Subject: Standard Procedure on Death of Employee
It has been brought to the attention of the management of this company that many employees have been dying while on duty for no good reason. Furthermore, it also appears that some employees are refusing to fall over after they have died. This, in some cases, has resulted in unearned overtime payments which are not provided for under our employee benefit program.
Effective immediately, this practice must be discontinued!
On and after today, any employee found sitting up after he/she has died will be dropped from the payroll at once, without further investigation. This action is covered by Company Regulation #20 (non-productive labor).
When it can be proven that the employee is being held up by a desk, typewriter, drawing board, telephone, or any other means of support which is the property of the company, a one (1) day period of grace will be granted.
In the event of apparent death, the following procedures will be strictly adhered to:
- If, after several hours, it is noted that any employee has not moved or opened at least one eye, the department head will investigate. Because of the highly sensitive nature and/or origin of some employees and because of the close resemblance between death and their normal working attitude, the investigation will be made quietly so as to avoid waking the employee if he/she is asleep (which is, of course, permitted under present union contracts).
- If some doubt still exists as to the true condition of the employee, a pay check will be used as the final test. If the employee fails to reach for the check, it is reasonable to assume that death has occurred. Note that in some cases the instinct is so strongly developed that a spastic clutching may occur even after death; do not be misled by this manifestation.
- In the event that an employee fails to abandon whatever he/she is doing at Coffee Break time, no investigation is necessary as this is conclusive proof that rigor mortis has already set in.