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SirKicksalot
06-09-2012, 07:47 PM
This is related to the lawsuit against a former female employee. Stardock claims she destroyed marketing materials. Please check out the source (Kotaku) (http://kotaku.com/5940401/pc-gaming-studio-said-she-ruined-their-game-but-only-after-she-sued-the-boss-for-sexual-harassment) because there's a lot of info including court documents. Choice quotes, all bolding is mine:

Witness depositions included in the case documents refer to multiple comments from Wardell to female employees about their breast and bra sizes, and one incident where he asked Miseta to attend a media tour because "[her] nipples look better on TV." They also describe a time on a media tour when Wardell's visit to the hotel room Miseta and another female colleague were sharing made Miseta feel uncomfortable.

In May 2010, during a dinner on a media tour, Wardell touched Miseta's hair. It was evidently the last straw for Miseta, who, on June 6, after the media tour had ended, sent her boss an e-mail asking him to change his behavior:


Please never touch my hair or any of my body parts; not even jokingly.

Please do not talk about my private life or about my boyfriend/future husband in any terms especially negative terms.

Please be careful with your "jokes" which are at many times inappropriate, sexist, vulgar and very embarrassing not only to me, but everyone present.

Please keep your negative personal opinions of others (including family members and/or coworkers) not present at the time of your comments, to yourself. I feel, at times, it puts me in a very uncomfortable position.

With the above few behavioral changes, I'm hoping our previously friendly and professional relationship can be reestablished.


Wardell's reply began cordially, "Thank you for bringing these up to me as I certainly do not want you to feel uncomfortable at work." He promised to be more careful in the future regarding items one and two, but then continued:

#3, however is not acceptable to me. I am an inappropriate, sexist, vulgar and embarrassing person and I'm not inclined to change my behavior. If this is a problem, you need to find another job.

#4, Again, I am not willing to adapt my behavior to suit others. If you find my behavior problematic, I recommend finding another job.

I'm not some manager or coworker of yours. I own the company. It, and your job there, exist to suit my purposes, not vice versa. The company is not an end unto itself, it is a means to an end which is to further the objectives of its shareholders (in this case, me).


-----------------------------

On July 13 of this year, Judge Robert Ziolkowski heard the arguments and denied the motion to dismiss. Miseta vs. Wardell will go to trial, though a date has not yet been set.

Attorneys representing Stardock filed the complaint of Stardock vs. Miseta on July 30, less than three weeks later.

------------
Court records from the lawsuit show several troubling messages from Wardell to Miseta, as well as allegations of problematic in-person behavior. E-mail messages included in the records go back as far as March, 2008, and include a link to a sexually explicit YouTube video, a comment that Miseta was chosen to go to a conference "not just because you're 'hot'," and a 100-question "purity test" that he asked her to take and then send him her score from. The purity test includes questions like, "Have you engaged in group sex?," "Have you engaged in intercourse with an unconscious person, while conscious?," and, "Have you had anal intercourse?"

---------------

Witness statements found in the response from Miseta's attorneys, however, contradict the claim. One employee specifically testified in her deposition that Miseta gave her a week's advance notice that she would be leaving Stardock, so that she "knew where [Miseta's] files were" and had access to relevant Google docs. Others had no recollection of Wardell or HR manager Angela Marshall (Wardell's sister-in-law) ever mentioning missing documents causing trouble with Elemental.

A former Stardock employee, speaking with Kotaku on the condition of anonymity, confirmed that a mere two weeks before launch, Elemental had many technical issues that had nothing to do with its marketing. The employee also added that at the time, nobody mentioned any materials having gone missing or any sabotage having taken place and showed Kotaku communications from Wardell that indicated satisfaction with how Miseta's staff replacement was taking over the review kit and review guide process.

-------------

And now Brad Wardell is trying to defend himself on the Qt3 forums (starting here (http://www.quartertothree.com/game-talk/showpost.php?p=3211297&postcount=187), more posts follow).

The following is from Brad:

While there, Alexandra got teased and got mad. At the time, i didn't realize she was so upset about it. So we went to the Qt3 get together (that some here may have even been at) and that.

She later emailed me telling me she was mad about the incident - to which I apologized for hurting her feeligs but also insisted that I watch what jokes I tell around the office. (To understand the context, we're a relaxed software company, lots of Family guy jokes, Simpsons references, Robot Chicken references, etc.). To which I responded, admittedly, very very harshly to.

Now, you can argue that I was a jerk in how I responded to her. But it does not justify her getting pissed off, quitting without notice and using her network access to wipe out our marketing assets 3 weeks before the ship of the game forcing me and a few other key team members to scramble at the last second to deal with it.


----------------

He even posted the end of that email, left out by Kotaku:

Iím not some manager or coworker of yours. I own the company. It, and your job there, exist to suit my purposes, not vice versa. The company is not an end unto itself, it is a means to an end which is to further the objectives of its shareholders (in this case, me).

While I certainly agree that your rights as a person (certainly in terms of physical contact or in terms of comments made towards you regarding your private life) take precedence over my rights as the owner of the business, that is as far as it goes.

I sincerely apologize for offending you while on our trip. I certainly would never intentionally try to upset you or make you uncomfortable and will endeavor to avoid doing so in the future. However, I wonít change my basic personality to suit anyone (i.e. being an inappropriate, sexist, vulgar and embarrassing person).

----------

Also:

It is not illegal to be a sexist, vulgar, inappropriate person. It's not even illegal to be racist. It's only illegal to act on those things.

Incidentally, every witness deposed was asked "Is Brad Wardell a sexist, vulgar, inappropriate person" and said no. I don't really think I'm a sexist, vulgar, inappropriate person in the objective sense. You've all seen my posts here for over a decade now.

The point I was making was that as far as she was concerned, my jokes could be all those things and more. But she does not have the right tell me how I can behave at work in general.

The example that came up during discovery is this:

If someone says to me, "Please don't use profanity around me." I would say "Sorry, I won't do that around you."

But if they say "And don't use profanity around the office either."

I'd say "You don't have the right to tell me that, it's my company and if I want to swear around the office I will."

gundato
06-09-2012, 08:00 PM
Now THAT sounds like the Wardell we all barely tolerate as a person but love as the guy whose company makes the shinies. :p

Definitely doesn't paint a good picture for Wardell. Although, sadly, these days it seems like all the studios are using their attracitve and intelligent women as spokespersons as a less insanely offensive version of "booth babes". His idiocy seems more that he was explicit, rather than just "Hey, do you want to go present this at E3?"

All conjecture at this point (both sides have witnesses, we don't have actual data), but from reading through the article, it sounds like she did delete some stuff that may or may not have been vital (the specific line is "had access to relevant Google docs" which is VERY ambiguous). No comment on the "running a side business during working hours" thing either.
Employees not hearing about it might have been a morale thing (don't panic the workers during crunch time) or it could also be because it wasn't as big of a deal (or wasn't viewed as a big deal at the time).

My initial stance: Wardell is a jackass, Miseta is playing up Wardell's jackassery to deflect from the stuff she actually did wrong. They probably both deserve to get the book thrown at them.

As with all stories, there are two sides to this. And, in general, both sides tend to be asshats. And kudos to the original poster for not making too inflammatory of a topic title.

TillEulenspiegel
06-09-2012, 08:09 PM
The point I was making was that as far as she was concerned, my jokes could be all those things and more. But she does not have the right tell me how I can behave at work in general.
Ummm...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hostile_work_environment

With that kind of attitude, I would not be remotely surprised if Wardell loses the sexual harassment lawsuit, and badly. I look forward to the schadenfreude.

Hensler
06-09-2012, 08:13 PM
Yeah, having sat through hundreds of hours of corporate and government training on sexual harassment and behavior in the workplace, this sounds like a slam-dunk sexual harassment case for the plaintiff. Wow.

Nalano
06-09-2012, 08:21 PM
This countersuit sounds punitive and retaliatory.

"In the office" still counts as a hostile workplace atmosphere, which is an actionable legal concept, and the depositions of the largely male office staff don't necessarily strike me as overwhelming evidence in Wardell's favor.

gwathdring
06-09-2012, 08:25 PM
Well. That ... shouldn't be a very difficult case. I guess the question is whether the counter-suit has any staying power (I'm skeptical) and whether it will successfully weaken any victory in the harassment suit in terms of financial settlement.

fiddlesticks
06-09-2012, 08:27 PM
Thanks for the comprehensive overview, SirKicksalot, I hadn't heard of this whole incident before. Judging from the facts presented in the Kotaku article Wardell's behaviour was more than a little questionable and I'm glad to see it dragged into the public eye. Maybe this will encourage other harrassed employees to speak up against the way they're treated.

trjp
06-09-2012, 09:17 PM
If he really did say the things he said he is possibly the biggest asshole alive (and that's quite a competition).

"I own the company so I'll treat my staff however I like" is astonishing ignorance - that you could even think that, let alone say it, let alone put it into writing! suggests you are retarded (in the dictionary sense e.g. developmentally retarded - lacking social skills etc.)

I find it hard to believe someone would contest a case on the basis "it's my company and I can do what I like" but it's amazing what passes for office etiquette and what people will believe.

Earlier this week I had recourse to call a hosting company I use - they'd deleted something I needed and were denying it. When I got someone on the phone to finally admit they'd done it, they also said that their "boss" who was a "director" (and they said that like I'd say "deity" or "martian") had told them it would be OK and so it was just tough and they weren't going to fix it.

Put simply, because someone had awarded themselves a title they'd instilled in their staff a sense that they are untouchable and never wrong - I assume their recruitment picks-up on the sort of imbecile who would say something like that because normal people are not that stupid are they?

or are they??

Heliocentric
07-09-2012, 08:47 AM
Wardell is Republican right? At least he's internally consistent.

Drake Sigar
07-09-2012, 09:43 AM
My initial stance: Wardell is a jackass, Miseta is playing up Wardell's jackassery to deflect from the stuff she actually did wrong. They probably both deserve to get the book thrown at them.

Pretty much my view as well. Wardell's clearly a prick, but the 'he started it' line is a poor defence.

flagoon
07-09-2012, 10:06 AM
Everything depends on the staff you hired. If I, my boss and other people in my firm are sexist, vulgar and racist, and then we hire someone, who is not, then what should we do? Should we all change to make this person feel good, or should this person ignore this, or change its behavior?

In my opinion, this boss guy was a jerk, but when she sent him this email, he acted the way I approve. "I will care what I say to you and near you, but if you don't like this environment, maybe you should look for a work in more stiff office."

fiddlesticks
07-09-2012, 10:24 AM
If I, my boss and other people in my firm are sexist, vulgar and racist, and then we hire someone, who is not, then what should we do? Should we all change to make this person feel good
Yes.

This isn't even a question of morality, it's a question of law.

Makariel
07-09-2012, 10:59 AM
If I, my boss and other people in my firm are sexist, vulgar and racist, and then we hire someone, who is not, then what should we do? Should we all change to make this person feel good
Yes.

You can be sexist, vulgar and racist in your private time (as long as you don't break any laws), but not at work.

frightlever
07-09-2012, 11:09 AM
Well this couldn't happen to a better asshole. Hope it reams his wallet, the only thing he cares about.

SanguineAngel
07-09-2012, 11:58 AM
I had an MD like that once. I can actually understand where he was coming from in that email, although the way he phrased what he said was offensive and inflammatory.

Having said that, his prior sexist behaviour is all sorts of wrong, and most likely the result of living in his "laid back" work environment for far too long. They're all used to a gradual breakdown of normal social barriers and so increasingly, anything goes and they stop even recognising the line.

I think she was right to bring it up, although I think her own email was quite rude too - the result of repressing her feelings on the matter for some time no doubt.

I also think she was right to ask wardell to moderate his behaviour in the office in general - as it seems like it could be the root cause of the problem. Aside from that there are issues of a legal and comfortable working environment to be addressed. But asking him to moderate his behaviour should have been handled delicately because no matter how you slice it, it's quite an offensive notion.

Lukasz
07-09-2012, 12:28 PM
Everything depends on the staff you hired. If I, my boss and other people in my firm are sexist, vulgar and racist, and then we hire someone, who is not, then what should we do? Should we all change to make this person feel good, or should this person ignore this, or change its behavior?
and for the third time.

Yes.

You can be vulgar, sexist, racist in your private time at home. in workplace. No. You cannot also discriminate against anyone based on their sex and their race. so you cannot not hire a black person who is more suitable for the job than a white one just because you are racist and you cannot be racist to them in any way during their employment.

Nalano
07-09-2012, 01:28 PM
If I, my boss and other people in my firm are sexist, vulgar and racist, and then we hire someone, who is not, then what should we do? Should we all change to make this person feel good, or should this person ignore this, or change its behavior?

Yes.

That's the law. Hell, by your method not only is it harassment but it's also discrimination.


I also think she was right to ask wardell to moderate his behaviour in the office in general - as it seems like it could be the root cause of the problem.

The feedback loop of his other staff also seems to play an important contributing part. You can't send salacious shit over staff email if nobody on the staff likes it.

pakoito
07-09-2012, 01:30 PM
You cannot also discriminate against anyone based on their sex and their race. so you cannot not hire a black person who is more suitable for the job than a white one just because you are racist and you cannot be racist to them in any way during their employment.
You *should'nt*, but as the decision process is not externalized you can get away with it anyway.

Nalano
07-09-2012, 01:36 PM
You *should'nt*, but as the decision process is not externalized you can get away with it anyway.

Be prepared to defend yourself, however, if someone files a claim with the EEOC.

Worcanna
07-09-2012, 02:10 PM
The problem i see with this is that one case is being brought up and may very well be called up as being "spite" fueled. From what Ive seen in the past, that tends to have the case given far less impact and since both these cases really are kinda awful, it makes me wounder if it will be treated as 1 case, since one is the cause and the other the effect. Does that make sense?

Still. Kinda didn't know he was THAT much of a sexist child. The email reply of "I'll do what i want as i own this place" really might be the biggest self harm to him

Nalano
07-09-2012, 03:21 PM
The problem i see with this is that one case is being brought up and may very well be called up as being "spite" fueled. From what Ive seen in the past, that tends to have the case given far less impact and since both these cases really are kinda awful, it makes me wounder if it will be treated as 1 case, since one is the cause and the other the effect. Does that make sense?

There are laws against punitive and retaliatory actions against people who have blown the whistle on harassment and discrimination. It may very well be that the second lawsuit may be viewed as such.

BjolkeDeBjeer
07-09-2012, 08:37 PM
I'm always amused when an excuse takes the form of 'I'm sorry you're upset' and is basically an admittance of wrongdoing.

Nalano
07-09-2012, 09:46 PM
I'm always amused when an excuse takes the form of 'I'm sorry you're upset' and is basically an admittance of wrongdoing.

It's part of the politician lexicon. The non-apology.

Unaco
06-11-2013, 04:09 PM
Klaaatu, Barada, NIKTO!!! Arise thread... Arise!!

It's more than a month old, but just came across this... "Stardock Lawsuits Dropped, Ex-Employee Apologizes (http://kotaku.com/stardock-lawsuits-dropped-ex-employee-apologizes-1377925759)". In short, both lawsuits have been dismissed, with prejudice, and Miseta has penned a letter, apologising for her initial lawsuit, any damage it may have caused, and any damage she may have done when she left Stardock.

So... I guess that'd be the end of that then?

Grizzly
06-11-2013, 04:25 PM
As an unrelated side note

"Have you engaged in group sex?," "Have you engaged in intercourse with an unconscious person, while conscious?," and, "Have you had anal intercourse?"

Ok, I have to ask.
How did a question on rape find it's way inbetween questions about unconventional sexual practices? 0_o.

Moraven
06-11-2013, 04:30 PM
In court, but not for gaming fans looking for someone or something to hate on.

I'm sure the story from both sides has been exaggerated a bit but there is probably some truth to each. But enough to go all out trash talk and hate filled posts on Wardell? meh

karaquazian
06-11-2013, 05:35 PM
He's lucky.

If my wifes boss had sent her that survey on sexual practices I would have turned up and punched his lights out.

gundato
06-11-2013, 05:41 PM
Oy. Internet tough-guys. Slightly less annoying than frat boys, but only by a small margin.


Interesting to see it end this way. Based on the available data (not a lot...), it sounds like Wardell probably WAS an asshat, but not to the excessive degree. And odds are the woman DID do most of those illegal things ,but Stardock decided they were better off dropping the charges to save face (especially because the gaming industry is starting to realize that sexism is bad) and she probably realized she would go to prison.

Granath
06-11-2013, 06:41 PM
Oy. Internet tough-guys. Slightly less annoying than frat boys, but only by a small margin.


Interesting to see it end this way. Based on the available data (not a lot...), it sounds like Wardell probably WAS an asshat, but not to the excessive degree. And odds are the woman DID do most of those illegal things ,but Stardock decided they were better off dropping the charges to save face (especially because the gaming industry is starting to realize that sexism is bad) and she probably realized she would go to prison.

That's relatively unlikely.

The "apology" is virtually standard lawyer-speak boilerplate and has accompanied cases where the plaintiff is compensated and cases where the plaintiff just voluntarily dismissed the suit without payment. Just because that was made doesn't mean she wasn't paid to make it. In sexual harassment cases, the defendants often want an apology even if they do pay for damages simply so a pattern of conduct isn't established, which makes future civil cases easier for other plaintiffs against that defendant. In other words, "I'll pay you to make an apology so I don't get sued further, or I we can take our chances in court while I run you into bankruptcy" is a pretty common scenario.

We have no idea if any money changed hands or if the plaintiff just ran out of money to pursue the case. But your interpretation is actually fairly unlikely. In addition, since this was purely a civil case there was no chance of her going to prison. The motives that you subscribe to the plaintiff to settle aren't relevant.

Unaco
06-11-2013, 06:46 PM
The "apology" is virtually standard lawyer-speak boilerplate and has accompanied cases where the plaintiff is compensated and cases where the plaintiff just voluntarily dismissed the suit without payment. Just because that was made doesn't mean she wasn't paid to make it... We have no idea if any money changed hands or if the plaintiff just ran out of money to pursue the case.

Except, it specifically says in the article that no money was exchanged in the settlement. So, yeah, we do know she was not paid to write the letter, and that no money changed hands.

gundato
06-11-2013, 06:57 PM
Except, it specifically says in the article that no money was exchanged in the settlement. So, yeah, we do know she was not paid to write the letter, and that no money changed hands.
As for the jail time: I don't know all the magic details of how the court system "works", but google says that you can get jail time for obstruction of justice and contempt of court (and I forget if perjury is listed under contempt of court, but that is also a concern). If she is bringing up potentially baseless accusations to muddy her own case (or, at least, a judge feels that way) she can be screwed on the obstruction charges (or something similar enough).

Not likely, but a possibility and likely one Stardock's lawyers would push for so as to recover Wardell's "honor".

frightlever
06-11-2013, 08:08 PM
Except, it specifically says in the article that no money was exchanged in the settlement. So, yeah, we do know she was not paid to write the letter, and that no money changed hands.

Question everything. No money exchanged hands "in the settlement" could mean a variety of scenarios in which money exchanged hands outside of the settlement but which aren't referenced in any legal documents relating to the case. Far-fetched? Yeah, sure. Impossible? FAR from it.

You have to understand that with enough money to hand the law becomes even greyer than usual.

gundato
06-11-2013, 08:16 PM
Question everything. No money exchanged hands "in the settlement" could mean a variety of scenarios in which money exchanged hands outside of the settlement but which aren't referenced in any legal documents relating to the case. Far-fetched? Yeah, sure. Impossible? FAR from it.

You have to understand that with enough money to hand the law becomes even greyer than usual.
Then we probably shouldn't trust the article either and they are really going to solve this Thunderdome style. Two enter, one leaves.

NO WAY IN! NO WAY OUT!!


Seriously, make your conspiracies from the available data (I do :p), don't just make shit up and decide to selectively disbelieve some stuff while acknowledging the rest.

Granath
06-11-2013, 08:24 PM
Then we probably shouldn't trust the article either and they are really going to solve this Thunderdome style. Two enter, one leaves.

NO WAY IN! NO WAY OUT!!


Seriously, make your conspiracies from the available data (I do :p), don't just make shit up and decide to selectively disbelieve some stuff while acknowledging the rest.

Actually, no, you shouldn't trust a quote from one party in a suit. It's not exactly an unbiased source.

If I had to venture a guess, this was simply a matter of the deeper pockets forcing an outcome. "Wiling to go to trial" can often be interpreted "make this as costly as possible". Given all of the facts, this is easily the most plausible scenario. But then again, this is all old news and nothing has changed. Wardell is still an asshole who can occasionally make a good game. There are a lot of assholes out there who can occasionally make a decent product, so that's not news.

Unaco
06-11-2013, 08:30 PM
Actually, no, you shouldn't trust a quote from one party in a suit. It's not exactly an unbiased source.

If I had to venture a guess, this was simply a matter of the deeper pockets forcing an outcome. "Wiling to go to trial" can often be interpreted "make this as costly as possible". Given all of the facts, this is easily the most plausible scenario.

She and her lawyers were approached, but refused to comment. How about we trust her letter of apology then? Which apologised for any hurt her accusations may have caused, to Wardell, his family, his business... as if, maybe, they were mendacious accusations, and she realises the damage they've caused to an innocent man?

Why is your interpretation the most plausible? Easily?

gwathdring
06-11-2013, 09:12 PM
She and her lawyers were approached, but refused to comment. How about we trust her letter of apology then? Which apologised for any hurt her accusations may have caused, to Wardell, his family, his business... as if, maybe, they were mendacious accusations, and she realises the damage they've caused to an innocent man?

The contractually obligatory apology that is part of the settlement? That's like taking a convicted criminal's apology during sentencing seriously--if they're guilty they might just want the judge to go easy and if they aren't guilty ... they might just want the judge to go easy. Same here. She might have figured it's easier to settle and take the ethical equivalent of a punch to the face that was a false apology in exchange for getting to move on with her life and not getting beat up unfairly (or fairly, who knows) in court.

I'm getting a deja-vu feeling here. I'm pretty sure all of this was already discussed earlier. For all the talk about using the available data, people seem disturbingly eager to defend an individual who wrote (at an absurdly generous best) exceedingly unprofessional and scuzzy e-mails and made (from our point of view) utterly unsubstantiated claims that his ex-employee sabotaged his shitty game in response to a workplace harassment suit. As was pointed out way earlier in the discussion, this may well be becasue he had no intention to sue for the sabotage but had his hand forced by her suit ... but counter-suing someone for legitimate reasons doesn't prove your innocence anymore than counter-suing for illegitimate ones proves your guilt.

The only real evidence we have is that he's a complete asshole and that sexual harassment is way more common than it ought to be. I get not caring about either party (I don't, really) one way or the other, and I get not trusting either party. I don't get treating the employee with greater prejudice than Wardell and giving him the benefit of additional doubt just because he got her to promise to apologize through their respective lawyers. Christ ...

SirKicksalot
06-11-2013, 09:18 PM
The letter doesn't admit any wrongdoing and doesn't paint the lawsuit as frivolous. The "apologies" are for the inconveniences caused by filing the lawsuit.

For all we know Wardell might have wanted to settle. You'll never see the terms of the settlement. Wardell's statement is meaningless because settlements can and do allow parties to lie about the terms.
I'll also go ahead and presume the letter was written by Wardell's attorneys (source: it's how my law firms handles things).

Unaco
06-11-2013, 09:27 PM
I don't get treating the employee with greater prejudice than Wardell and giving him the benefit of additional doubt just because he got her to promise to apologize through their respective lawyers. Christ ...

I'm not looking to treat the other party with greater prejudice, but I think that Wardell should get the benefit of the doubt. Innocent til proven Guilty and all that.

Tei
06-11-2013, 09:30 PM
http://i762.photobucket.com/albums/xx269/911fan/ARFCOM/Humor/abandon_thread.gif

I vote this thread for deletion.

gundato
06-11-2013, 09:35 PM
The contractually obligatory apology that is part of the settlement? That's like taking a convicted criminal's apology during sentencing seriously--if they're guilty they might just want the judge to go easy and if they aren't guilty ... they might just want the judge to go easy. Same here. She might have figured it's easier to settle and take the ethical equivalent of a punch to the face that was a false apology in exchange for getting to move on with her life and not getting beat up unfairly (or fairly, who knows) in court.

I'm getting a deja-vu feeling here. I'm pretty sure all of this was already discussed earlier. For all the talk about using the available data, people seem disturbingly eager to defend an individual who wrote (at an absurdly generous best) exceedingly unprofessional and scuzzy e-mails and made (from our point of view) utterly unsubstantiated claims that his ex-employee sabotaged his shitty game in response to a workplace harassment suit. As was pointed out way earlier in the discussion, this may well be becasue he had no intention to sue for the sabotage but had his hand forced by her suit ... but counter-suing someone for legitimate reasons doesn't prove your innocence anymore than counter-suing for illegitimate ones proves your guilt.

The only real evidence we have is that he's a complete asshole and that sexual harassment is way more common than it ought to be. I get not caring about either party (I don't, really) one way or the other, and I get not trusting either party. I don't get treating the employee with greater prejudice than Wardell and giving him the benefit of additional doubt just because he got her to promise to apologize through their respective lawyers. Christ ...
Well then, why bother reading any news article when gwathdring is here to tell us what REALLY happened.

It isn't about defending an individual (The accusations largely line up with what we know about Wardell as he has a history of being an asshat with poor people skills, it is just a question of how far he went and how much of it was harassment and just "Hey, go present this. We don't want to look like a bunch of sweaty fat guys"). But we have people who are saying "you know what, I don't want to believe the information we have available, I am going to make something up to better suit my narrative".

Here is the evidence we have:
Wardell was accused of sexual harassment. The charges were dropped and a formal apology was made.
The woman was accused of running a side business using company property on company time, sabotaging a project, and a bunch of other stuff. The charges were dropped.

That is what we know. From there, you can extrapolate. But common sense suggests that if she were completely innocent (or even mostly innocent) and Wardell had done it, she would have burned his ass in court (she is already screwed on getting rehired, so she has nothing to lose).

Because here is the thing: People are assholes. They convict people in the court of public opinion almost instantly. Maybe Wardell is squeaky clean, maybe he is a bigger rapist than your average football player. We don't know. But accusations like this are going to hound him for the rest of his career, if only because we have "truth seekers" who are always going to argue that it is a giant conspiracy and cover-up. And the other party is always going to be under suspicion for actively sabotaging a project and screwing over her employers.

But nah, fuck the data, let's make up our own. I still like Thunderdome-style brawling.

Granath
06-11-2013, 09:37 PM
But accusations like this are going to hound him for the rest of his career, if only because we have "truth seekers" who are always going to argue that it is a giant conspiracy and cover-up. .

Actually they have Wardell's emails, which is evidence enough to suggest something improper happened.

sonson
06-11-2013, 10:54 PM
Everything depends on the staff you hired. If I, my boss and other people in my firm are sexist, vulgar and racist, and then we hire someone, who is not, then what should we do? Should we all change to make this person feel good, or should this person ignore this, or change its behavior?

In my opinion, this boss guy was a jerk, but when she sent him this email, he acted the way I approve. "I will care what I say to you and near you, but if you don't like this environment, maybe you should look for a work in more stiff office."

It really saddens me that the idea of freeodm of speech or however the fuck people want to deem it is a more esteemed value than considering the feelings of others and putting other people first. Especialy when you're essentially suggesting that that's why the other person should deal with that established culture in the first place and it's unreasonable of them not to.

deano2099
06-11-2013, 10:56 PM
Maybe Wardell is squeaky clean, maybe he is a bigger rapist than your average football player.

He's not squeaky clean. There's enough evidence he's an arsehole from this to prove that. What was in question is if it was legally sexual harassment. Even if the answer is 'no', a conviction in the court of public opinion for the fact that he send and never denied sending the creepy emails seems right and proper in this case.

I'll give you that in other similar cases you're totally correct though.

gundato
06-11-2013, 11:15 PM
He's not squeaky clean. There's enough evidence he's an arsehole from this to prove that. What was in question is if it was legally sexual harassment. Even if the answer is 'no', a conviction in the court of public opinion for the fact that he send and never denied sending the creepy emails seems right and proper in this case.

I'll give you that in other similar cases you're totally correct though.
Even that could potentially be taken out of context and awkward or just a joke. Again, I doubt it, based on what we know of Wardell, but think about it this way: I know that I and some of my co-workers often times make REALLY inappropriate jokes. We try to avoid doing it over work email (because we aren't idiots), but some of that could be seen as VERY bad if taken out of context.

I dunno, I am just always hesitant to tar and feather someone based on just accusations. If this went to trial, maybe. If there were a history of sexual harassment (not just being an asshat with less than stellar social skills :p), sure. But for all we know, most of those were awkward jokes, funny emails that are forwarded, and stuff taken out of context.

As an example: Let's take Rooster Teeth for example, since I spent a large chunk of my weekend watching their charity live stream. Their community manager is Barbara Dunkelman, a member of the community over the years who joined the company and is VERY good at handling social media, organizing events, and even handling the monstrocity that is RTX. She also happens to be a woman who is quite attractive, and RT never really hide or tip-toe around that. It definitely isn't exploitative (at least, not by the standards of the industry), but they also don't mind playing it up (although, they are quick to call out the particularly skeevy assholes). All signs point toward that being an added bonus and having nothing to do with hiring her. That being said, I would wager money that there is at least one email on their servers that goes along the lines of "Hey Barb, we have a new shirt. It seems like a good idea, but we aren't sure how well it will sell since it isn't directly tied to any of our popular brands. You mind posing in it for a few pictures to hedge our bets?"

I am definitely not comparing Wardell to anyone there and I personally suspect Wardell was being an asshat, but it is also really easy to see how such accusations, even if corroborated by email, can seem airtight without any context.

sonson
07-11-2013, 12:01 AM
Even that could potentially be taken out of context and awkward or just a joke. Again, I doubt it, based on what we know of Wardell, but think about it this way: I know that I and some of my co-workers often times make REALLY inappropriate jokes. We try to avoid doing it over work email (because we aren't idiots), but some of that could be seen as VERY bad if taken out of context.

I dunno, I am just always hesitant to tar and feather someone based on just accusations. If this went to trial, maybe. If there were a history of sexual harassment (not just being an asshat with less than stellar social skills :p), sure. But for all we know, most of those were awkward jokes, funny emails that are forwarded, and stuff taken out of context.

As an example: Let's take Rooster Teeth for example, since I spent a large chunk of my weekend watching their charity live stream. Their community manager is Barbara Dunkelman, a member of the community over the years who joined the company and is VERY good at handling social media, organizing events, and even handling the monstrocity that is RTX. She also happens to be a woman who is quite attractive, and RT never really hide or tip-toe around that. It definitely isn't exploitative (at least, not by the standards of the industry), but they also don't mind playing it up (although, they are quick to call out the particularly skeevy assholes). All signs point toward that being an added bonus and having nothing to do with hiring her. That being said, I would wager money that there is at least one email on their servers that goes along the lines of "Hey Barb, we have a new shirt. It seems like a good idea, but we aren't sure how well it will sell since it isn't directly tied to any of our popular brands. You mind posing in it for a few pictures to hedge our bets?"

I am definitely not comparing Wardell to anyone there and I personally suspect Wardell was being an asshat, but it is also really easy to see how such accusations, even if corroborated by email, can seem airtight without any context.

I've worked for a mental health campaign for nearly 4 years, most of what we do is promotion, especially this kind of thing, and I can honestly say that nothing approaching this has ever been communicated. It's totally uncessary.

You can convey the same message, in a professional manner, just by saying new shirts etc, "Would you mind modelling it for us?" That's all that's needed. And then they say yes or no, and you're done, without touching on how anyone looks, or singling anyone out or anything of the sort, and it's professional and friendly. Just becuase sex sells or whatever dosen't mean you have to comply to that maxim if it could mean offending or causing discomfort to a staff member. As far as I'm concerned if your mentality is put the sexy girl in the t shirt when you have however many staff members availablle then the bottom line for you is something other than respect for the people you're working with. For a lot of places obviously that's the main problem to begin with. Money is more improtant than human relations.

The reason that behaviour as you have illustarted above can fall into sexual harrasment claims is becuase there's a very fine line between the two, they're not very far apart at all and at heart the primary motivation is usually the same i.e not that of the people you're working with.

gwathdring
07-11-2013, 09:07 AM
Well then, why bother reading any news article when gwathdring is here to tell us what REALLY happened.


Er ... my "tell us what really happened" part is almost exactly the same as yours. I then go on to discourage supposition that's biased toward either party, except with slight prejudice based on published e-mails of the guy flouting his (again at the very least) unprofessional conduct as an employer. The rest is me very clearly labeling supposition with "mays" some of which are favorable to one side or the other. If that sounds familiar it's because it summarizes your post too with uncanny accuracy. I mean ... er ... that Gwathdring's a right self-important bastard isn't he!

There's only one part of your post that really aims to make a substantially different point than my own post, and it's the part of this thread that makes me the most confused. It's this little bit:


But common sense suggests that if she were completely innocent (or even mostly innocent) and Wardell had done it, she would have burned his ass in court (she is already screwed on getting rehired, so she has nothing to lose).

Look ... there are a lot of things a person has to lose by going to court after their professional reputation is tarnished. Money, further tarnish (becasue there's no such thing as rock bottom until you're dead or a social pariah everywhere you go), the stress of court, the sting of losing unjustly, having a bad lawyer, feeling the odds are stacked against you and that going to court wouldn't help anyway ...

And that's just the "common sense" stuff before we get into some of the more counter-intuitive stuff research into social dynamics says goes on in social environments with cliques and hierarchies (i.e. most of them but especially schools, militaries, and places of work). That's why I posted. Because just as you say you don't, I don't like it when people jump to the battle stations over things without anything to go on. I'm not on her side, I'm not on his side, and I'm not terribly bothered about any of it. I am, however, bothered by the implication that a victim with nothing to hide has nothing to fear from going to court. Or that a court-arranged apology has anything to do with one's guilt. Those implications speak to a broader issue that does matter to me and it's intimately related to (among other things) real workplace harassment, whether Wardell is guilty of such or not.

We can patter on about context until the cows go home. How much context does it take? Again, not speaking to this specific case, but that's such a cop-out defense a lot of the time. Your job when interacting with people isn't to maintain perfect political correctness or read their mind, but it is to make a good faith effort to have an idea of how people are feeling and what kinds of conduct are appropriate in your current sphere of interaction. Those are the kinds of conduct the people around you are prepared for; step outside of that and you have a greater responsibility to try and make sure you aren't hurting the people around you than they do to try and figure out what the broader context of your behavior is--seeing as it's (by the very nature of my setup here) beyond the immediate scope of your previously laid out interactions and boundaries. There's a social contract; at a workplace it's made more explicit and is partially informed by legislation. In some areas, it's fuzzier and getting it wrong is more acceptable.

"Taking things out of context" isn't something anyone can avoid. I'm not in your head. I don't know your whole life story. If your defense comes back to "it's not in context" you don't have a very good defense. Of course it's not in context! That doesn't mean adding more context justifies anything; if adding more context justifies it, by all means add context. How much context is enough context? Me knowing all of your* friends say things like this to women all the time? Me knowing you have a minority friend? Me knowing you thought I would be cool with it and you were only joking? How about you apologizing and recognizing it was out of line or feeling bad about how your comments made me feel? That last one just might cut it a lot of the time. The rest, not so much.

Really, how much context is enough context?


*(general you here, not Gundato you--that's true for the whole paragraph, but this particular bit might have seemed otherwise since you talked about making inappropriate jokes with friends, so just in case)

Serenegoose
07-11-2013, 10:18 AM
Obviously the reason women aren't getting into tech fields is because they just aren't interested. I mean, that's the only conclusion you can draw from this.

gwathdring
07-11-2013, 10:51 AM
Anyone who REALLY cares about technology would think me asking them to pull my dongle with Microsoft Sam was the funniest shit ever. Why HR had to get involved, I don't know. If you can't take the heat get out of the ... wait ... that's ... hmm ... I need to rehearse this.

trjp
07-11-2013, 12:33 PM
I'm not going to drag Flagoon's aging and much knocked-back post into this again - but it strikes me the thing many people are missing is that "boss" or "manager" or "supervisor" isn't just a role you get for being in a job a long time (unless it's McDonalds perhaps) - it's a role you get because you are GOOD WITH PEOPLE.

"Managing" people requires that you can communicate effectively and build rapport - if you're sexit/racist/offensive then you have no right taking that role

Ah, you say, but what if it's my company - surely then I get to be the boss and do what the fuck i want?

To which the answer is the obvious - "sure, if you want to work alone your whole life - and fail because you're not the right person for the job :)..."

karaquazian
07-11-2013, 01:54 PM
Nah that's not right

People aren't always promoted to management because they are the best.

Far more like they become managers because
1 they are good at back stabbing, boot licking and politics in general
2 they went to the right school or come from the right family
And 3 in the case of tech firms, because their peers are too valuable actually doing the technical job, better to get the less valuable guy to do the pen pushing.

Tei
07-11-2013, 02:41 PM
Nah that's not right

People aren't always promoted to management because they are the best.

Far more like they become managers because
1 they are good at back stabbing, boot licking and politics in general
2 they went to the right school or come from the right family
And 3 in the case of tech firms, because their peers are too valuable actually doing the technical job, better to get the less valuable guy to do the pen pushing.

You can think that, if that make you feel better.


Far less people can do the type of work that is management than other type of jobs. And management produce and immediate effect of results. Bad management can render other people on a company infective.


Crony-ism exist, and is very strong in some communities. But is not the only thing that exist. And puts a value in your network of friends. So party more. People that go to parties and meet other people have a important advantage over these that stay in home and play chess against a computer or watch tv.

gundato
07-11-2013, 02:53 PM
I'm not going to drag Flagoon's aging and much knocked-back post into this again - but it strikes me the thing many people are missing is that "boss" or "manager" or "supervisor" isn't just a role you get for being in a job a long time (unless it's McDonalds perhaps) - it's a role you get because you are GOOD WITH PEOPLE.

"Managing" people requires that you can communicate effectively and build rapport - if you're sexit/racist/offensive then you have no right taking that role

Ah, you say, but what if it's my company - surely then I get to be the boss and do what the fuck i want?

To which the answer is the obvious - "sure, if you want to work alone your whole life - and fail because you're not the right person for the job :)..."
The problem is: Wardell was one of the founders/got in at the ground floor (I forget if he actually is a founder or just a very long term employee). Same with Notch. Hell, same with Gabe and Tycho: The Hatemongerers. Same with lots of other start-up companies that just managed to make it big. It isn't about "taking that role". It is about "That role suddenly growing".

Or are you saying that if you are successful but rough around the edges you should abandon your company and all your hard work the moment you become successful?

It is a very difficult issue. The more successful companies/groups adapt (I recall in a somewhat recent podcast the Rooster Teeth guys joking about how they are amazed that Matt became a CEO, Gus leads a team that organizes multiple major conventions, and that Geoff, the guy who almost killed himself huffing gasoline in the army, is basically leading his own highly successful division/mini-company that regularly outputs new "TV" shows and content), the less successful ones use campaigns like "John Romero wants to make you his bitch".

Is Wardell a victim? Hell no. And, to a large degree, he is acknowledging his shortcomings which he DOES deserve credit for. The guy fully admits he is one of the big reasons Elemental got fucked up, which is why he hired a more qualified creative director so he could focus on what he actually wants to do.

karaquazian
07-11-2013, 03:47 PM
You can think that, if that make you feel better.


Far less people can do the type of work that is management than other type of jobs. And management produce and immediate effect of results. Bad management can render other people on a company infective.


Crony-ism exist, and is very strong in some communities. But is not the only thing that exist. And puts a value in your network of friends. So party more. People that go to parties and meet other people have a important advantage over these that stay in home and play chess against a computer or watch tv.

The whole of britain would be one of them communities. Look at the government, civil service, CEOs of major companies, military top brass, police chefs etc.. 90% of them went to the right school and come from the "right type of families"

I'm not sure its any better in countries that aren't saddled with centuries of class division, being able to put the boot in when needed and smart your way up the greasy pole are useful skills to have if you want to advance, after all ceos are the mostly likely proffesion to be psychopaths http://m.cnet.com/news/great-news!-engineers-arent-psychopaths-but-ceos-are/57610538

trjp
08-11-2013, 01:37 AM
Plenty of people think they can manage and will work towards becoming a manager - but any company which 'works' will soon weed-out the people with poor 'people skills' - the people who cannot 'manage'.

A lot of people think 'managing' is 'bossing people around' - but in reality, that's not going to work for long (tho it happens, obviously).

End of the day, the reason a lot of companies which 'started small and got big' don't last is because people tend to get promoted on "the fact they were in at the start" and not "because they're good at things". The biggest mistake you can make is not putting the right people into the right jobs - it will bite you sooner or later.

Serenegoose
08-11-2013, 01:44 AM
Because what we as gamers have learned through the decades of microsoft, EA, activision, THQ, et al, is that these enormously successful companies are populated right up at the top with supremely competent individuals, thanks to the death of nepotism and old boys clubs.

rockman29
08-11-2013, 01:51 AM
You can think that, if that make you feel better.


Far less people can do the type of work that is management than other type of jobs. And management produce and immediate effect of results. Bad management can render other people on a company infective.


Crony-ism exist, and is very strong in some communities. But is not the only thing that exist. And puts a value in your network of friends. So party more. People that go to parties and meet other people have a important advantage over these that stay in home and play chess against a computer or watch tv.

Crony-ism gets revealed more and more when things go wrong... I'm getting a full dose of realization of this watching political gaming in my country blow up in everyone's face right now (canada).

It's fucking embarrassing that a country allows this to happen. The only saving grace is that some in the field of government and positions of authority have spoken out to address the fundamental problems which have enabled these things to happen, rather than simply suggest it is a unique event (it's definitely not...).

The more things go wrong in politics in my home country, the more I realize how easily a system can be subverted by old boy's clubs and "connections."

LVX156
17-11-2013, 07:05 AM
It really saddens me that the idea of freeodm of speech or however the fuck people want to deem it is a more esteemed value than considering the feelings of others and putting other people first. Especialy when you're essentially suggesting that that's why the other person should deal with that established culture in the first place and it's unreasonable of them not to.Are you kidding me? People should have the right to do whatever they want short of physically hurting others. Imagine if I told you that I get really upset when you use the word "fuck". Should I be able to force you to stop using it, maybe even sue you because you hurt my poor little feelings when you used such foul language? Fuck no. I should grow a spine and stop being a little crybaby.

That there are laws against "hostile work environments" is so incredibly stupid to me. I am in complete agreement with Wardell here. It's his company, he should be able to do whatever he wants. If his employees don't like it, they can leave. If he really is an asshole, few people will stay very long, his reputation will suffer, and as a result he will find it harder and harder to attract the talent he needs to make good games, which will hurt sales.

This is how it works everywhere else. If you have an acquaintance who is a total douchebag you stop hanging out with him, you don't sue him because you don't like his personality. I really wish people would stop being so fucking sensitive. A business owner should even be allowed to be racist or homophobic. Let people vote with their wallets, it works. It even works on much bigger scales than this. Why did France stop testing nuclear weapons? Not because of the decades of protests from various groups and even governments, but because there was a boycott against French wines. Sales of French wines declined so much that it threatened to ruin the entire French wine industry, so France stopped their tests.

Imagine that you found out that the owner of a local grocery store wouldn't hire homosexuals or non-Caucasian people. Would you still shop there? I wouldn't, and I would let him know why I would now spend my money at his competitor's store instead, and I would let everyone I knew know about it, so they too could choose to shop somewhere else. Would being a racist bigot have a positive or a negative outcome for him? I think it's pretty clear what the answer is.

LVX156
17-11-2013, 07:15 AM
and for the third time.

Yes.

You can be vulgar, sexist, racist in your private time at home. in workplace. No. You cannot also discriminate against anyone based on their sex and their race. so you cannot not hire a black person who is more suitable for the job than a white one just because you are racist and you cannot be racist to them in any way during their employment.But you should be able to do all of these things - and pay the price, of course. Not the price of a lawsuit, but the price of loss of reputation, loss of talent and in the end loss of income.

Besides, you can discriminate as much as you want, at least here in Sweden - as long as you discriminate against the right people. I can't remember the last time I applied for a job and the ad DIDN'T say that they welcome a "culturally diverse" work environment, which is fancy talk for racial discrimination against Swedes. That is perfectly fine to do, it's even encouraged by our government, who uses our tax money to pay 80% of the salary if an employer hires an immigrant. But that's not called discrimination, it's "cultural diversification", and because that's politically correct, it's perfectly fine.

gwathdring
17-11-2013, 08:09 AM
I hope you don't truly believe that physically hurting people is the only way to cause grievous harm. Or even that grievous harm is the only thing that shouldn't be allowed in the work place.


you don't sue him because you don't like his personality.

Ah. So it's just suing people that's the problem? For the record, people tend not to successfully sue their friends just for being obnoxious. Typically people sue when they have standing to sue and when they can demonstrate illegal activity or activity that common law precedent deems sufficient for a suit AND when they can demonstrate someone's actions caused them specific harm of a scale commensurate with the compensation being sued for. If your friend is being rude at a restaurant ... good luck finding standing to sue! If they crash your car and refuse to pay for the damage ... I should hope I have legal recourse if they decide to strong-arm me. If they publicly defame me with false allegations about social misconduct that cause me to lose my professional reputation I should hope I can rely on slander and libel laws to protect me even if they never accused me of illegal activities.

Believe it or not, workplace sexual harassment can cause a lot of harm.

Right, though. We should all just toughen up. Great. Screw emotions! Toughen up! Just tell your boss who pays your paychecks and has significant psycho-social authority over you that he's an asshole and go find another place to work ... jeopardize your way of living without any compensation for the trouble that person's unacceptable conduct has put you through.

That sounds like an awful way of doing things, to me. :\ It's not like law suits are nice, cozy, easy, accessible, cheap things to carry out on a whim anyway.

This?


Should I be able to force you to stop using it, maybe even sue you because you hurt my poor little feelings when you used such foul language?

Is quite different from systematic harassment and bullying in an environment with institutionalized authority such as a school or a workplace. As it happens, harassment and bullying can cause people severe and lasting emotional damage, make it difficult for them to function normally, and even drive them to suicide. Feelings are small little diminutive things that Kindergardners have while riding their Whambulences.

What's so fucking awful about caring about people's "poor little feelings?" Christ, we're not bears in suits of armor. We're people. With complex emotional imbalances and needs. Go have many man time with Hemmingway if all of this wishy washy weakness is too much for you. Light four cigarettes, one for you, one for him, and the other two for your respective whiskeys.

But you covered that too! Because it's fine to expect people to behave within certain ethical parameters just not to enforce that legally. The trouble there is that power structures don't give anyone recourse to escape if you don't have some unimpeachable authority to turn to. If everyone's harassing you and discriminating against you because of your gender or orientation or what-have-you and you can't work anywhere that people with your skills and education and recommendations can work as a result ... what are you supposed to do? Toughen up and will systematic discrimination out of existence? To scoff at legal institutions upholding our ethical codes so generically strikes me as ... well it's incredibly confusing to me. Murder most foul isn't the only ethical standby that requires a stronger backing than bocotts and gumption.

Granath
17-11-2013, 01:41 PM
Rant

Rather than point out the oh so many ways that this is misguided and flat out incorrect, I'll just say that you come off as a horrible human being and I'm glad we have a block feature on this website. Unfortunately, one does not exist in the real world.

Hanban
17-11-2013, 01:58 PM
LVX156 fails to mention that the 80% subsidy is part of a push for integration into the workforce for newly arrived immigrants. It is also a subsidy which has a time limit. Thus it is no endless 80% subsidy of a salary.

LVX156 also fails to mention that for long-term unemployment municipalities in a similar manner subsidize a portion of a person's salaries if they can find a job. In my municipality the people receiving this subsidy are almost exclusively of Swedish origin. Some of them are alcoholics so I guess the Swedish government discriminate against sober people who can hold on to jobs.

LVX156 is also rather oddly claiming that Swedes are discriminated in the workforce when studies still show that having a "non-Swedish" name is a huge disadvantage when applying for a job.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is that LVX156 would do well in; 1. not just reading racist news sources and 2. getting some perspective.

LVX156
17-11-2013, 02:39 PM
I never said it was an endless subsidy, that doesn't make it any more right. I know full well about the so called "nystartsjobb", and that is just as wrong, but we were specifically talking about discrimination. What would happen if the Swedish government said that they would pay 80% of the salary but only for Western Europeans? There would be outrage in the media, they would be called racists, fascists and whatnot. When they do the opposite, nothing happens, even though that's just as discriminatory.

If I get a job and then - once I'm employed - say that I can't work with women, or even shake hands with a woman, then I would probably be fired, and rightly so. But if I say it's because of my religion, then my employer has to bend over backwards to accommodate my every wish, or they risk having to pay me a fine for discriminating my religious beliefs. This is madness, and it is in itself discrimination.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is that Hanban would do well in: 1. not putting words in my mouth and 2. stop assuming that my name is Swedish and that my parents aren't immigrants.

Skalpadda
17-11-2013, 02:40 PM
Thanks Hanban, I felt obliged to reply to LVX's post but then decided to go eat ice cream first and now I don't have to. Woop!

LVX156
17-11-2013, 02:50 PM
Right, though. We should all just toughen up. Great. Screw emotions! Toughen up! Just tell your boss who pays your paychecks and has significant psycho-social authority over you that he's an asshole and go find another place to work ... jeopardize your way of living without any compensation for the trouble that person's unacceptable conduct has put you through.Yes, this. Exactly this. Toughen up. Stop being a little bitch. Stop expecting everyone to care about your precious little feelings. And more than anything, stop expecting the government to protect your feelings.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bwGsOBTlhE

Besides, who's to say what "unacceptable conduct" is? I hate to bring up examples from Sweden, but since that's where I live, it's the environment I know best. A muslim man who did work training refused to shake hands with his employer because she was a woman. After the training was done he wasn't offered a job because he didn't have the right skills, according to the employer. The man said it was because he refused to shake hands, and he was awarded 30,000 Skr (roughly £3,000) in damages for being discriminated against, even though there was no evidence that that was the case.

So what is "unacceptable conduct"? To this man, just shaking hands was completely unacceptable, but discriminating against women was perfectly acceptable.

fiddlesticks
17-11-2013, 03:48 PM
Please stop posting. You are not very good at it.

Hanban
17-11-2013, 04:29 PM
I never said it was an endless subsidy, that doesn't make it any more right. I know full well about the so called "nystartsjobb", and that is just as wrong, but we were specifically talking about discrimination. What would happen if the Swedish government said that they would pay 80% of the salary but only for Western Europeans? There would be outrage in the media, they would be called racists, fascists and whatnot. When they do the opposite, nothing happens, even though that's just as discriminatory.

You'll note that I never made any assumption on your ethnicity. I may be guilty of putting words in your mouth with regards to the 80% salary for infinity. For that I would apologize, but I was trying to add information to your statement.

I won't touch on your second paragraph, because arguably you won't lose your job if you refuse to shake hands with women. It is notoriously difficult to fire people in Sweden, after all.

Regarding your fist paragraph and why I chose to comment. I suppose I could have been less combative. This was my point:

You frame the subsidy as if it has been maliciously crafted to discriminate Swedes. I would assume this perspective comes from not understanding how labour market policies are made. The reason I chose to bring up subsidies given for long-term unemployment was because the idea behind the subsidy for immigrants and people who have been unemployed for a long time is similar.

The subsidy for immigrants was as you hopefully understand not made to discriminate, but rather to adress a specific problem. Namely that immigrants are consistenly discriminated on the labour market. The subsidy is thus trying to fix a problem with roots in discrimination. Doing nothing here simply perpetuates a status quo where people of immigrant background have trouble getting jobs, which means that they stay in a disenfranchised position in society. With subsidies for people who have been unemployed for a long time the reason differs somehwat but the idea is similar. You subsidize their salary so that there will be an incentive to hire them. This hopefully lands them a place in the workforce and gives them the tools to remain in the workforce. The idea is the same. You subsidize to adress a problem. This may not work as intended, but that is another discussion.

You frame the discussion with focus on perceived discrimination towards Swedish people and completely leave out the context.

Edit: I'll stop commenting now. I realize this is not what the thread is about.

gwathdring
17-11-2013, 08:01 PM
So what is "unacceptable conduct"? To this man, just shaking hands was completely unacceptable, but discriminating against women was perfectly acceptable.

There is a substantial difference between complaining about specific extreme anecdotes in which you believe the behavior that occurred wasn't even unacceptable and complaining about the very idea of lawsuits about sexual harassment and other non-physical injuries.

I take it you have never experience bullying, harassment, and uncontrollable depression. It is not mentally possible to just toughen up under the power of certain psychological stressors. I'm glad you've never experienced this. It's awful. I have a gut feeling about how you'd respond to that so I'm going to preemptively add that I don't want the government to protect me from mental illness anymore than they would protect me from physical illness through whatever public health care systems happen to be in place in my country (in my case, basically non :P).

You can throw out whatever ridiculous anecdotes you want. It doesn't address the issue. Finding a job is difficult and takes time; since nothing is free, that costs money. Being forced to find another job because of grievous breeches in social conduct and becasue of systematic harassment or abuse at the hands of peers or employers causes real harm not imagined harm ... but it also costs real money. Typically laws that allow for civil suits are protecting people from more measurable damages. While you can sometimes win generic damages that deal with more nebulous things like emotional duress and quality of life, it's much more common to tie that back to money, property and so forth--medical bills, legal fees, the costs of job searching, back-pay, and so forth.

What you seem to leave out of your posts is the nature of authority. My boss has authority over me. My teacher has authority over me. My workplace and school environments constrain my behavior and both lock me in place and condition me. I am not fully in control in these environments. I can't just walk away without a lot more work than is associated with not hanging out with my asshole friend anymore--and in the case of schools sometimes I can't legally walk away because my address says I have to go to school here. So when bullying and harassment occur in these sorts of rigid social structures, people need a higher authority they can call to in order to sort it out. Just like you'd go to HR if your co-worker violates company harassment policy, you go to the legal system (at your own expense, mind, it's not a damn butler that solves your problems for you it's a complicated system of policies and arbitration) when sufficient harm occurs and you don't have sufficient recourse within your particular micro-structure.

But let's ignore lawsuits for a moment. Because that's not the biggest problem here. Kids can't just toughen up when they get followed and verbally abused everywhere they go just because their friends at school decided they were at the bottom of this year's pecking order. Employees can't just toughen up when they fought hard to earn their job, they need to put food on the table, but every day is made miserable by workplace harassment. Who decides what behavior is unacceptable? Who decides where we draw the line? Well, that depends. We all do in the case of common law precedent--over a very long period of time and with a naturally conservative leaning due to the force of historical precedent. Company founders do in the case of workplace rules. We all do in the case of unspoken social arrangments. And we decide through our various systems of representative government in the case of specific non-discrimination or workplace harassment laws--how much "our" decision that is depends on your system of government. Frankly, I don't see why these are bad ways to decide what sorts of conduct are acceptable. You seem perfectly content to let the government decide what counts as murder and theft and battery ... and while psychological and economic harm is much harder to show explicitly, the laws and precedents protecting you from it generally a) have to do with the most measurable sorts of harm possible b) do not involve criminal proceedings because both the severity and nebulousness is recognized and c) often involve specific issues of contract (he said he'd pay me for the car on Tuesday September 6th, but it's been two weeks and he has my car but I don't have the money).

But that's talking about lawsuits again. I'm not very powerful. I can overcome quite a lot on my on time among friends, but I can't stop abuses of hierarchy, structure and power from harming me any more than I can toughen up and will away bullets. My boss has power over me. My co-workers are part of a system that collectively has power over me. If you think that power and hierarchy is illusory, that social constructs can't bite you and cause genuine harm, than you grossly misunderstand how human beings function. If anything, willpower is much more illusory than depression; choice more illusory than power structure. You talk like emotions are things that children and losers care about, things that don't have any impact on "real" life. As though our mental landscape is some sort of proving ground rather than a very real entity that, while difficult to asses and measure, has direct and inevitable impact on every aspect of our lives. Drop the ego. You're not as impressive and tough and enlightened as you think you are and if you've really never experienced the supposed weakness of being harmed and crippled by "feelings," to borrow your horrendous parlance, you are merely very fortunate and not the Super Man. If people continue to believe such things, it's going to continue to keep us from having productive lives and governments.

JohnS
17-11-2013, 08:26 PM
I know that LVX156's anecdotes from Sweden make terrible arguments as they are, but for the record they're also all much more complicated than he's making them out to be - he's basically quoting the most reactionary versions available.

gwathdring
17-11-2013, 09:21 PM
I know that LVX156's anecdotes from Sweden make terrible arguments as they are, but for the record they're also all much more complicated than he's making them out to be - he's basically quoting the most reactionary versions available.

Kind of like the MacDonalds lawsuit over here. Everyone remembers it as a famously frivolous lawsuit in which someone sued becasue they spilled hot coffee on themselves. When in fact the water was super-heated to above boiling point causing it to spontaneously erupt while in a cupholder in turn causing severe burns that required surgery. MacDonalds likes the story that it was a frivolous lawsuit, but it resulted in widespread safety changes (both to the benefit of employees and customers) across all of their US restaurants. It's convenient for them to set up a smear campaign to hide the fact that they were jeopardizing customers and employees with an extremely dangerous equipment setup. Super-boiling is not a very stable state; it can be avoided with some fairly basic procedures.

But what you hear is that she sued MacDonalds for spilling hot coffee on herself and that she made WAY more money in damages than she actually did and it leaves out the bit about the lawsuit demanding safety improvements across MacDonald's stores.