Now we are talking about a commercial building as opposed to residential. So the regulatory environment changes quite a bit. Let me say that sticking your head in the sand and ignoring the problem, does not offer you any legal indemnity from prosecution in the event something illegal is done. Any owner or operator, leasee or contractor may be held liable for violations.
Under federal regulations, the building is what is known as a "facility", and it is necessary to determine whether Regulated Asbestos Containing Materials (RACM) are present. This is a two part process; first does a suspect material contain asbestos; and if so, is the material either Category I nonfriable ACM, Category II nonfriable ACM; or RACM.
Sounds complex, but it really isn't. A test to determine asbestos content costs about $35 at a local analytical lab. Ask for Polarized Light Microscopy. Now, if we find more than 1% asbestos is present, we need to determine the regulatory status of the material to be removed.
Vinyl asbestos floor tile is by definition, considered to be Category I non-friable asbestos, unless it has been rendered friable by sanding, cutting, abrading or pulverizing. So, even though asbestos is present, it is not regulated unless you screw up and handle it wrong!
The tiles can be safely removed by wetting to suppress dust, and collecting the tiles in as whole pieces as possible. Because the tiles bind asbestos fiber in a resiliant matrix, asbestos releases are usually neglible to low. Your being in the office the other night did not do any long-term harm.
So, you are most likely exempt from EPA regulations at 40 CFR Part 61 Subpart M. Now about those workers that have to remove the floor tile. The employer is required to comply with 29 CFR 1926.1101 to prevent exposures of asbestos fiber above the Permissible Exposure Level (0.1 fiber/cc air as 8-hour time weighted average). Removal floor tile is defined as Class II asbestos work. Now you have to demarcate a regulated area, limit access, determine the need for engineering controls or respirators, monitor worker exposures, and supervise the work with a competent person and follow approved work practice standards. Bummer, the job is regulated by OSHA unless the building owner, or you, do the work yourselves. No employees, no OSHA.
Well, thats the answer. You cannot avoid potential liability by ignoring the issue, and you, or the building owner can be liable for knowingly exposing workers to potential asbestos exposures or by hiring a contractor to do work and not disclosing the nature of the work. Hey, for starters, that $35 PLM test doesn't sound so bad. If you need some practical how-to, post back.