Discussion in 'PC/Console Game Discussion' started by JohnnyGoodboy, Aug 15, 2012.
I'm off to Kickstart a Tom and Brad dating sim where a mini-game is bashing Dark Souls.
Because I read their reasons? The whole reason courts give reasons is so the reader can understand how the court came to the conclusion that they reached. They set out the facts they relied on, the law they relied on, and then applied the law to the facts, as they understood it. If they were secretly relying on other facts, then they did their job badly. I am by no means an expert on American labour law, but some of their reasoning is obviously flawed and pretty facile, in my opinion. Everyone is entitled to criticize the judgement of a court; that's part of open process.
Well, Dr. Knight was literally relying on his uncontrollable libido in deciding to fire the employee: "Dr. Knight told Steve Nelson that nothing was going on but that he feared he would try to have an affair with her down the road if he did not fire her." Really what the Dr. is saying is that if he didn't fire the employee, he wouldn't be able to help himself. It's particularly gross since the employee was not at all interested "Nelson considered Dr. Knight to be a friend and father figure, and she denies that she ever flirted with him or sought an intimate or sexual relationship with him."
That's fucking madness. You can't control yourself from sleeping with women who don't want to sleep with you?
And if he really, absolutely couldn't work with this woman because of his uncontrollable dick, he should have at least negotiated a fair settlement with her instead of giving her one month's severance and sending her on her way after ten years of platonic, loyal service.
I agree with all that. FUNNY RITE? But what you are now calling "his problem" you previously implied is essentially an issue of workers' rights. When I framed that hypothetical to you earlier, an aside that seems to have attracted lots of attention, it was to find out your thoughts on what you would do without the comfort of existing legal statutes/labor contracts to lean on. The answer I'm hearing from you and others is simply "deal with it" in repeatedly louder chorus. To me that's not a satisfactory conclusion to the underlying question.
I'm not a very good writer, but I would be interested to hear how my use of the word "worker" in context could in any way be reasonably interpreted as me referring to "the manager's wife".
Of course we are and can. I just don't think that by taking this all into context, reading the courts decision, and so on, one can simply distill it back to a simple sexual discrimination suit as you have. Somehow you've taken my position that I disagree with your particular point of contention (to the court) and turned it into therefore I agree with the court. I don't! I think they missed a real opportunity here to hand down a ruling on a complicated case that more carefully strides through the minefield of gender discrimination, sexual harassment, labor rights (when they are without contracts), and so on and perhaps even set a thoughtful precedent. They didn't, OK, that sucks. But I'm not going to turn around and assume it's because they're old white guys trying to keep women in their place.
eta: it's worth mentioning that the decision was 7-0 so that includes four judges (three D, one R) who all voted in favor of gay marriage. So they aren't exactly a bunch of down-home bumpkins desperately clinging to old fashioned social values, either.
I don't think it has to be taken to the end case to make the point. How about "you can't control yourself from acting in a sexually harassing manner in the office because your libido has gotten the better of you," a probbaly far more realistic future scenario. And with the months of comments about wearing revealing clothing, please put on a lab coat, and other comments, the future was well on its way and Knight was already toeing the line of harassment (the only reason it wasn't a legal harassment is she didn't complain). Her lack of interest is a complete non-issue in determining if an environment is harassing (again unless she expresses concern).
And then this was an argument that came up in the court: trying to avoid the potential for a future sexually harassing environment was itself a kind of future-sexual harassment. Her counsel at one point actually argued that acting to prevent sexual harassment was itself sexual harassment.
You can keep repeating this (and statements like it) so as to continue to frame me as siding with the man on his actions, but I do not now, have not previously, and will not in the future. Period. Deal with it.
The manager's wife was another employee, that's why I was asking. Because the question:
....I don't get it. The worker's right in my (outlier socialis) mind is not to be fired for reasons unrelated to her job performance. What consensual adult relationship are you referring to?
The framing here just makes no sense to me. He's not compelled to hump an employee he has a crush on by mind control rays. If he was completely unable to resist and felt compelled that'd basically make it a a mental illness, in which case that's a fairly well established set of procedures, no?
Why not? I don't see any reason to infer any additional relevant facts. Why do you think there must be other facts? What do you think those facts are? How do you know about those facts?
How the fuck is that realistic? No one is ever forced to act in a sexually harassing manner. You can just not be a sexually harassing boss. It's really not hard!
It is an issue, because if the idea is that this was a consensual relationship between adults, it appears that the employee did not share the employer conceptions about the nature of the relationship. So this isn't a case where an employee enters into a consensual relationship with an employer, as occurred in some of the cases relied on by the majority.
Yes, I mentioned that above, and I think the lawyer was right for at least two reasons. First, in my view if the employee had had her hours reduced because the employer found her irresistibly sexually attractive, that itself would be sex discrimination. The fact that he instead chose to fire her doesn't make that better, it makes it worse. Second, firing employees you consider sexually desirable creates an incredibly discriminatory atmosphere in the workplace, since the other employees are placed in an intolerable situation. To the extent that sex discrimination legislation aims at correcting employer behaviour, the court in this case should have found that firing sexually desirable employees creates a discriminatory work environment.
Why are you getting mad at me? You asked
And my answer was that if (for some reason) he could not not sexually harass his employees, he should have realized he had no reasonable grounds to terminate her and worked with her to achieve a mutually-agreeable outcome. So that's the employers solution. If you are really so in thrall to your libido that you can't behave like an ordinary adult, then you should expect to pay up the ass if you want to terminate the attractive employee. It's not any different from an employer who just can't tolerate working with black or gay people. If the employer can't handle it, he or she can fire the employee, but it's gonna cost big time.
You are absolutely right and I apologize for missing that. The interesting thing is that forms a kind of double-down on the need to avoid a problematic work environment.
My original question to you (rephrased) is: is there a worker's rights issue in terms of a consensual relationship* in an office, if that relationship can cause problems in the office? Does a worker have a right to be in a relationship with a co-worker if that relationship can lead to trouble in the workplace? Generalizing: should fraternizing be protected by law in the same way as gender, race, and orientation? And how should that be applied when the relationship has larger effects such as on people who are married and work in the same office?
*every occurance here of "relationship" means in an intimate/sexual sense, not just hey I know a guy hence we have a relationship.
My hope by asking this was to get somewhere besides "I don't know but collective bargaining could probably figure it out". That's too far off the end of the just-so spectrum for me.
You guys keep taking it all the way to sex but it doesn't have to go nearly that far. There's a whole range of illegal/actionable items that fall between having a vague crush and sex. This thread is like Exhibit A when it comes to that!
None of which you are compelled to do.
It doesn't have to do with the facts, it has to do with the interpretation. You interpret it as a sexual discrimination case, others don't. Including unanimoulsy the sitting justices. (shrug)
There is no person anywhere who controls his or herself constantly from all mistakes all the time. OK? This guy kept it under control for a few of the ten years but it was starting to get out of hand so he nipped it in the bud in advance. All people have areas of their lives where they have to be proactive to keep it under control; some with sex, some with overeating, some with other things. This is his area of weakness and he recognized that and dealt with it.
I think it's realistic because I don't live in some dreamscape where people can all just take 20 on their willpower rolls whenever it's an issue that us enlightened internet people already have all the answers for.
I agree it was not consensually sexual but I disagree with your assessment. Nelson received numerous text messages and heard numerous statements that were very clearly overly sexualized and didn't seem to object to them. She spent apparently years "putting on a lab coat" so she wouldn't have to see Doctor Boner.
This is not to say "that slut deserved what she got"; this is to say that the conversations could appear quite consensual to any outside observer. Since they never talked about actually having an affair, we're all just riding a train of assumption.
I'm not getting mad, I'm restating it so that it doesn't get lost in the shuffle; and I agreed with your points, they just felt framed as if opposing my position when they do not. Anyway I had asked the question of someone who was essentially saying if only we had unions in Iowa this would have never happened and we wouldn't have to struggle with difficult questions of legality and morality.
This is a much better way of saying what I was thinking before concerning the court's ability to take a much better walk through the facts of the case and set up something good in their opinion. You and I aren't disagreeing on the outcome, only on the justifications.
Keep repeating this. Maybe my problem is I just haven't seen it often enough to understand how it addresses completely my points.
Your point is that people can't help themselves. My point is that's fucking retarded.
If that's your genuine distillation of all that I've written these last few pages then we aren't going to get much further. See you in the bargains, relationship, weight loss, family holiday dread, how to dress nice, nerd rage, insomnia, suicide, and drama llama threads where everyone is spilling over with infallible willpower in every area of their lives.
Hey now. The drama llama thread in no way belongs in that list. Drama is delicious.
Brad wants you all to know that this is the 69th page of the thread. Well, really only the pretty ones, the rest of you should pay no attention.
Okay, fine. Your point is that people can't help themselves as regards being attracted to other people, so much so that inappropriate behavior on their part becomes a pervasive problem. My point is that's fucking retarded. Even if you slip up from time to time, if you work to prevent it from happening again, it won't be a continual occurrence. And if somehow even that isn't enough, that's your problem, not theirs, and to make it theirs is bullshit and, again, fucking retarded.
Yes, but that doesn't make it illegal.
See previous posts by other, more eloquent people for why it does.
Other people have made arguments for why they think it's illegal. I think I've made for points for why I don't think it is, and I think everyone who's read all this has an informed opinion at this point. I'm just saying that there is unanimity on whether it's bullshit, so you don't have to keep saying that, as though people disagree.
But there isn't.
shift6 is stating that, while certainly not ideal, firing the woman outright was still a valid course of action. My point, again, is that this is fucking retarded.
What about the women who overdose on and rape all the mens? Won't someone think of the poor guys?
I simply do not agree with your characterization of sexual harassment as being something that a person can be compelled to do. No person is ever so over-borne by his or her libido that they cannot refrain from inappropriate conduct. People are not led around by their genitals; they are fully capable of acting like adults and controlling their own behaviour.
But even if he has a crippling character weakness that makes him unable to deal with this woman because of his overpowering libido, how is the appropriate response to fire a person who has done nothing wrong? He didn't "deal with it", he forced someone else to deal with it. If he is uncapable of handling his libido, he should be the one to suffer for it, not a person who has done nothing wrong.
I don't agree with this characterization either, because it ignores the power dynamic between employer and employee. When an employer makes inappropriate comments, the employee has strong incentives to just deal with it. If they don't suck it up, they may be out of a job or otherwise prejudiced in their work. It's kind of like when your boss makes a bad joke: you feel compelled to laugh, because if you don't laugh there are consequences. The fact that an employee does not complain does not mean he or she consents to being harassed. Moreover, in the case at hand, the employee denies (and the court appears to accept) that she ever flirted in return; that she had any reciprocating sexual feelings; and that she did anything wrong deserving of termination.
Right, but retarded things aren't illegal and often shouldn't be illegal. Being a douchebag, or a smug asshole, or smelly, or boring, that stuff is all legal and nobody can sue their bosses for it. We all agree that this guy is kind of a douche for not dealing with this in a better way. Thank God, just because you handled a life relationship badly doesn't mean someone can sue you for all your monies over it.
The real issue between shift6 and the Broken Forum Howling Liberal Brigade is this: the BFHLB thinks everyone has a "right to a job" and you should be immune from being fired unless your boss can prove, in court, that you do your job poorly, AND that it is cheaper for him or her to take you to court than to just put up with your ineptitude. Shift6 (and me as you can probably tell), and most of the rest of America think you don't have any right to a job, and that your employer should be able to fire you without having to go through that rigmarole -- or for no reason or a bad reason, as long as it's not for certain protected reasons. So far the American economic engine seems to work pretty well overall, but everyone is of course entitled to their opinions.
For whatever it's worth, I will tell you that I work in a place where we all have a right to our jobs. I'm glad we do in the sense that it's necessary for my particular job (criminal prosecutor). But it also has infuriating, huge downsides. You would not believe the worthless sacks of shit that you are paying 150K or more per year with your tax money to literally sit in a chair and do nothing for most of the day. Plus benefits! Right to a job really fucking sucks and is massively inefficient and anticompetitive and unfair to people who WANT to work. We have turned away super-talented hard-working people because we have no money to hire them, because too much of our budget goes to useless assholes who have a right to their jobs. It is infuriating. Just to provide a counterpoint view.
Alexb, I'm going to agree to disagree with you on the harassment issue. We are so far apart in point of view that there's no basis for continuing discussion.
Apologies for crazy typos in my recent posts, I'm on the road using an iPad. Also, speaking only for myself about the DA stuff, not on behalf of my office. Obviously. :)
I don't think you have a right to a job. I think you do have a right to reasonable notice or severance pay in lieu thereof. I think you do have a right to compensation if your employer terminates on certain grounds, including sexual discrimination, and I think this is obviously a case of termination based on sexual discrimination. What (I think) we are disagreeing about is the definition of sexual discrimination and what constitutes "protected grounds". I don't think we are in disagreement about the basic nature of the employment contract being consensual on both sides.
The way you've been able to completely rewrite the conversation on this is fantastic. Your first three replies to me literally consisted of a sentence fragment, and were then followed by multiple posts where you incorrectly interpret one small bit of my entire position as if it was the killing blow. Now you apparently think that "slip ups" that happen from time to time are acceptable, despite the fact that in this context those slip-ups would be clear and direct violations of existing sexual harassment law. Then you continue to ignore my repeated agreement that his handling of the situation was wrong.
Whoa now hang on just a second there, professor. You need to choose what you think I said and then stick with it. Keep the goalposts in one place. Is it: 1) people have compulsions and aren't 100% able to resist that is fucking retarded (you gave this reason numerous times), or 2) firing the woman is fucking retarded (this is a brand new thing). Because I agree with the latter and have said so multiple times, many times before you came up with this new thing just now. You can't find one time where I've said his actions were acceptable or even defensible or used any other remotely positive words (your use of the vacuous weasel word "valid" punctuates this in 72-point bold face).
You'll note that I didn't say they were acceptable. I said that, even in the event that one slips up, it's absolutely possible to keep it from being a pervasive element. That doesn't make it okay, certainly.
Urges is the word you're looking for. Compulsions has an entirely different meaning. No, I'm not just being pedantic here.
I agree with all of this except that by using the word "compelled" (not my word BTW), the implication is some outside force making a person do a thing. That isn't the case. I'm speaking of internal weaknesses and errors of willpower. I'm also not talking about constant overhanging drives like an addition or actual mental illness.
Goddamn it. It fucking wasn't, OK? I've already said this directly to you numerous times.
IT WAS NOT RIGHT OR ACCEPTABLE OR COOLBEANS TO FIRE THE WOMAN.
Yeah, that's totally fair. And furthermore the dude clearly has extremely poor judgment all around; everything from making ongoing statements that would be harassing in a heartbeat, getting too personal with the employee, and then firing her both without warning/discussion and without a decent severance package. And yet the court who agreed with you (and as I am now admitting: me!) on all this, they still found unanimously for Knight.
And wouldn't it have been pretty fucking awesome for the court to have said as much? (this is in reference to every single point you brought up here.)
You appeared to be saying that a clear violation of law (in this context, sexual harassment) would be preferable to what happened here. I admit reading too much into that.
Fair enough. So then how did you read "compelling" into anything I've written today when I was clearly talking about internal urges?
And much of the time yes, it is. Consider: I occasionally want to punch someone in the face. I'm sure you do on occasion as well but, if not, it's something that comes over most people from time to time. If I were to give into this desire and actually punch someone in the face, that would be fucking retarded of me, because now I'm guilty of battery.
I have no idea what you are talking about here. Is this chaff? I can't even tell.
I don't think people have a right to a job, and certainly don't believe that to be a defensible legal position in the US. It's not about immunity from being fired but simply ensuring that a boss or manager can't fire you for, in this case, plainly inappropriate behavior that's entirely his fault and that of his wife, and that happens to fall on the margins of contested territory between sexual discrimination and harassment law. It's certainly the case that many courts in American would likely arrive at a similar conclusion, but because the outcomes are plainly stupid I think that points to a problem with the way workplace protections are codified rather than some affectation of your liberal bogeymen.
This seems off base in the manner you present it. While Jason McCullough did say, for example, that he would prefer a system with guaranteed employment as a bottom rung, it would not look like your office but rather an outright subsidization of poverty, and it was not meant to be a simple declaration that ordinary private industry would henceforth have to hire people just to hire them.
None of that changes that a number of states, including this one, have really shitty employment laws that allow things like this to happen as a matter of course.
I don't think that's actually the case. I think you're blowing a really exaggerated depiction of the arguments people are making even further out of proportion by not addressing the differences substantively. A good warning sign of this is glossing over all of the things shift6 has said in order to find the most generic and brain-safe idea in there and claim you're in agreement with him. Do you think a boss should be able to fire an otherwise competent and useful employee because his wife is worried that he won't be able to restrain himself from sexually harassing her? Do you think that's because it's unfair to expect employers to just act like adults rather than fire people based on a biblical notion of temptation? Which, it's good to note, was not part of a consensual escalation of the relationship but rather one-way even in its hypothetical?
If not, then you're not in agreement with shift6, and probably not with the interpretation/codification of laws that enabled this.
To be equally pedantic, I was using the same words alexb used so as to better frame my point of view in my reply to him, in the style of FTFY replies.
How would you state it in your own words, then?
That is literally what Jason said, more than once, a post you and others liked. And the same undercurrent runs through several other replies here, such as LK saying this a "workers' rights issue" (albeit advocating unionization), etc.
I assu e from your phrasing that you agree the firing doesn't fall in a protected category. In that case, tell me what you think the difference is between having a right to your job, and being immune from being fired for an "inappropriate reason" that is not already part of antidiscrimination law. Surely you can see that what you are advocating is a right to a job (ie, you can only be fired for good cause), or at least something so close to it as makes no practical difference. Is there going to be a potential jury trial on every termination, so that the law can determine whether on these precise facts the termination was "appropriate"? Or how do you see it working? And what do you see as the difference between that and Jason's "right to only be fired for cause, or maybe possibly economics but I'm not saying that" regime?
Right, but the idea is that once hired, they have a right to stay absent provable cause or economic hardship. That is exactly how my office works, and I am telling you the results in my office. We don't hire people justto hire them either. But we don't always hire great people, and sometimes people's attitudes change.
It depends on what you mean by "should be able to." I think it is a bad and unfair choice, and he is weak for doing it. I do not think it should be illegal. I think people get fired, not hired, passed over for promotion, etc., for absurd non-performance-related reasons all the time. I don't believe it's the government's job to police all that, invasively in every business. It is already a huge job and problematic just enforcing the very basic rights the government already protects.
Well, I don't think you're right, but it doesn't matter that much and he can weigh in himself if he wants to. As to the laws, I think I'm on the same page with them I certainly agree with the outcome, and although I haven't read the opinion the parts quoted here I mostly agree with.
The rest of your post is question-begging assertions (this result is "plainly stupid" or that Iowa'semployment laws are "shitty," etc) so I won't respond to that. I mean, I say they're not, so now where are we?
As to alexb, I really do think we're just super-far apart. When my response would mostly be stuff like "That's crazy" or "That doesn't follow at all," that's not constructive. I have some strong conservative friends like that and some strong liberal ones, and there's just no point in those discussions, we just see things so differently that it's hard to have a reasonable conversation with each other and better to just agree to disagree.
Well, try me. My view of sexual discrimination, harassment, and employment law is pretty reasoned, in my own opinion. It's basically the bog-standard Canadian approach. If you think I am too crazy to reason with or whatever, you can read the (arguably) leading Supreme Court of Canada judgement on the issue, Jenzen v. Platy Enterprises Ltd., which is available online here. That case deals with a similar issue, in that it is also about whether you can say that a victim of sexual harassment was victimized due to her sex or whether it was instead based on personal characteristics.
I don't know even know which of my arguments you disagree with, so it's hard for me to respond. I don't think implying that I'm crazy or irrational is very constructive either, so why don't you actually respond substantively instead?
This is wrong on two grounds though. First, some non-performance-related employment decisions do result in liability, decisions motivated by racism and sexism being the obvious example. Are you against all anti-discrimination laws? Which ones do you support, if any?
Second, I don't think anyone is proposing government involvement. What we have in this case is a civil suit between the employer and the employee. Once enacting the anti-discrimination law, the government has no further role to play. So it's really not a case of the government policing anyone. It's about giving employees the tools to protect themselves.
I don't understand that 'right to a job'- thing. Over here in crazy socialist unionised Jason McCullough dream-society, nobody has a right to a job or is safe from being fired. We've just managed to negotiate good contracts, so that it's costly to fire people without a good reason, and if you try, the union will pay for the employees lawyer if the case goes that far.
But if an employer really wants to get rid of somebody, he can.
And I know of no companies private or not where useless people gets to sit around doing nothing - that's usually an accepted cause for firing anywhere.
The guy I replaced at my current job was really bad at it, and my boss wanted him gone. Unfortunately he was union rep (not because he was good at that, but the economy was good, business was booming, the company was expanding so most people didn't care enough about union stuff to take on extra work). Boss stated his case, the union was brought in, boss had a point, but firing an union rep should never be easy, so it cost him a 12 month severance package instead of he 6 months the contract guaranteed. But the guy was still gone.
Of course not everywhere has unions or that good contracts, which makes being unreasonable easier for employers (even if laws against sexual harassment etc. are broken, proving that is easier if you have an union lawyer by your side)
I've come to the conclusion that the firing was both absolutely wrong and also legal. That's the dilemma I have with this case.
From my reading of the law and the ruling, as a non-lawyer, this is about the Dr. having the hots for this woman and not specifically her gender. For example, if he was gay or Bi and was distracted and had the hots for a male assistant, and fired him, would that be gender discrimination? I don't think so.
And thus the problem: this isn't about the woman or the fact that she is a woman, it is about the Dr. and his feelings. He decides she is attractive enough that she could be a problem for him. By the same logic, he could have decided she was so ugly she was a distraction to him and fired her and it would have been the same "case." That's wrong, but in his state, not illegal. It could have been a man in the office that he was worried his wife would run off with. Wrong, but in the state's law, not illegal.
The problem, IMO, was not the court ruling but the fact that the law doesn't prevent such firings.
I have absolutely no idea which post of mine you are referring to or which post of Jason's you are referring to.
Right, this is where people are bringing the at-will employment issue in -- when the default is that you can be terminated at any time for any or no reason, then this is what happens in weird cases that the law doesn't handle well.
If the state had stronger worker protections, it would have been a lot more expensive for the doctor to fire her, and maybe he'd have decided that acting like a goddamn grownup was a better option than paying out a hefty chunk of severance. Or if he'd decided to still be an ass about it, she'd at least have been compensated.
You can't guarantee perfect outcomes all the time, but maybe we should be defaulting to an answer other than "go fuck yourself" for employees in bad situations.
The law's problem is that with at-will employment, there is no resolution when the boss is the problem employee. Hell, even with the manager being the problem it's difficult to prove and convince the company (the one time I've seen it happen it was when the entire department called in HR complaints and threatened to quit). Without at-will you need to make at least some vague excuse to fire someone, and that adds at least the most minimal layer of effort needed. Even if it's still possible to just trump up charges with a little effort.
This is less to do with "she was sexy" or that she was fired because her boss had marital issues, and more to do with the complete lack of any form of worker protections from shit employment conditions. Made worse in jobs where there is heavy competition and it's trivial to replace a worker.
edit: this all ties back into why people are pissy at Brad, anyways. The issue is when the Boss is the problem. The question is does the company only exist to serve the boss's whims, or not.
Seriously, there is no "it was inevitable I cheated on my wife, you can't blame me for chasing after a woman who showed no interest in me!"
The entire logic is trying to absolve oneself of blame for taking a shit action (firing the attractive woman) because it was beyond your control to not fuck her. Fuck that.
In my experience, it's easier not to fuck someone than it is to fuck them. I guess this is different for some people?
Separate names with a comma.