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S06.E07: Conspiracy Theory: Part Two 2017.12.12

Right.  "They signed the contract" doesn't address the issue, which is the discrimination and harassment inherent in its terms.  There are things for which you cannot legally contract (the contract will be ruled void, because, for relevant example, the terms are against public policy or constitute an impermissible restriction of one party's rights); you can't just write anything you want down, sign it, compel the other party to sign it, and say, "well, we agreed; hands off, lawyers."

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True, however they have options. They were not forced at gunpoint, they took the job signed the contract and made money. To me it just looks like bitterness. I have no sympathy for folks like that. 

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Fair. 

Occasionally, however, the law does have sympathy for folks like that!:)

I'm not sure whether making someone sign a contract such as the one signed falls into a category of "you can't sign away your rights to a sex/age discrimination case"  or not, but sometimes you can't sign away underlying claims. And while this perhaps isn't a model case, it takes not a lot of imagination as to why the law doesn't always allow it.

Edited by pennben.
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Here's what I understood about the lawsuit. The owner was claiming he hired these women as models. The women claimed their jobs were as servers. So the issue being litigated must have been what was the legal definition of their employment. If it went to court and the court found that their job was being models then the owner would win because there are some occupations that age/gender specifications are allowed.*) The women of course, were claiming that they were servers and since that is a job where age discrimination violates the law, the owner could not enforce the employment contract that ended their employment at age 30.

* An example where age/gender discrimination would be allowed is acting. If a casting agent puts out a call for a teen girl and an adult male actor shows up for the part, the casting agent can decline to hire him based on his age and gender. Models are another one since the job is based solely on appearance.

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13 hours ago, thewhiteowl said:

True, however they have options. They were not forced at gunpoint, they took the job signed the contract and made money. To me it just looks like bitterness. I have no sympathy for folks like that. 

I agree with this but I also don't like when people are cheated out of their legal rights. AFAIC the owner was wrong for what he did. He had to have known that he couldn't fire his servers at age 30 because it would be illegal. (Or if he didn't know at first, his attorney must have told him.) So he decided to get around the law by saying the job was modeling even though the job he hired them for included taking food orders and bringing food to the customer's tables. And everyone knows that is the job description for a server, not a model.

Edited by Desperately Random.
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1 hour ago, Desperately Random said:

Here's what I understood about the lawsuit. The owner was claiming he hired these women as models. The women claimed their jobs were as servers. So the issue being litigated must have been what was the legal definition of their employment. If it went to court and the court found that their job was being models then the owner would win because there are some occupations that age/gender specifications are allowed.*) The women of course, were claiming that they were servers and since that is a job where age discrimination violates the law, the owner could not enforce the employment contract that ended their employment at age 30.

* An example where age/gender discrimination would be allowed is acting. If a casting agent puts out a call for a teen girl and an adult male actor shows up for the part, the casting agent can decline to hire him based on his age and gender. Models are another one since the job is based solely on appearance.

Thanks for this clear explanation. Too bad you couldn't have had a walk-on part, @Desperately Random, to state this explanation.

 

1 hour ago, Desperately Random said:
14 hours ago, thewhiteowl said:

True, however they have options. They were not forced at gunpoint, they took the job signed the contract and made money. To me it just looks like bitterness. I have no sympathy for folks like that. 

I agree with this but I also don't like when people are cheated out of their legal rights. AFAIC the owner was wrong for what he did. He had to have known that he couldn't fire his servers at age 30 because it would be illegal. (Or if he didn't know at first, his attorney must have told him.) So he decided to get around the law by saying the job was modeling even though the job he hired them for included taking food orders and bringing food to the customer's tables. And everyone knows that is the job description for a server, not a model.

So if the contract stated that they were hired to model, not serve food, but they did serve food, what are the legalities?
I'm guessing IRL, some would just quit. But they probably have rent to pay, and modeling jobs are probably not plentiful. Plus, if this job could be described as "Model" on a resume, I could see many accepting/keeping the job while looking for another real modeling job.
IDK. Are there "real modeling jobs" for those over 30? If they are few, I could see the server-models being annoyed at being fired from this essentially not-modeling job.

Edited by shapeshifter.
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I am not arguing that it's legal, the guy is a scumbucket. I think the women were aware by signing the contract that they were hired based on looks and not their ability to serve food. If you can hire a model to walk a runway, why can't you hire one to serve food? And if the contract is illegal, didn't the women break the law as much as he did by signing it? Just saying, it's not right or fair or even decent but they knew that going in, that's all.

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I don't know about the legalities of all this, but my impression was that the lawyer did this for the publicity, not because she thought the case had any merit.  The restaurant owner even said that the back and forth between them was because of the publicity it generated for both of them.  It seems the lawyer was just using these women for her own purposes as well.

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1 hour ago, treeofdreams said:

I don't know about the legalities of all this, but my impression was that the lawyer did this for the publicity, not because she thought the case had any merit.  The restaurant owner even said that the back and forth between them was because of the publicity it generated for both of them.  It seems the lawyer was just using these women for her own purposes as well.

The lawyer is thus far a thinly-veiled portrayal of Gloria Allred, who simultaneously loves publicity and firmly believes in the claims she is filing.  So if they stick with that, she did not do it solely for publicity.  She was using the women's case to further her standing, yes, but also to further the cause.  The case has merit, as noted above - they are servers, as the "clerical error" on the tax forms acknowledges, not models, so they have been subjected to age discrimination, and you cannot contractually oblige someone to accept sexual harassment as part of their job description.

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12 hours ago, thewhiteowl said:

And if the contract is illegal, didn't the women break the law as much as he did by signing it? Just saying, it's not right or fair or even decent but they knew that going in, that's all.

No, they didn't break the law.  

This case on this show is one of the cases where it is difficult to garner sympathy for potential victims.....well, they could have easily gotten another job, they are young/beautiful. 

Spin out to a different case: a 50 year old woman (with no work history because she's been married, but recently divorced her husband because he abused her) looking for a waitress job. She applies, she's hired, but the employer makes her sign an agreement that she can be terminated if someone younger is found to be a suitable replacement for her.  She signs it because she needs a job, then she gets fired when they find someone younger.  Also, lo and behold, he characterizes the job as a modelling job, when in reality she's just serving food, but now he can try to claim it's an appropriate form of age discrimination.

Do you think she did something illegal? Do you think she should have a case?

Edited by pennben.
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22 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Thanks for this clear explanation. Too bad you couldn't have had a walk-on part, @Desperately Random, to state this explanation.

I would have loved to do that! Get to be on set with my favorite characters. I would have happily done it for free and paid my own travel expenses. LOL

 

22 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

So if the contract stated that they were hired to model, not serve food, but they did serve food, what are the legalities?
I'm guessing IRL, some would just quit. But they probably have rent to pay, and modeling jobs are probably not plentiful. Plus, if this job could be described as "Model" on a resume, I could see many accepting/keeping the job while looking for another real modeling job.
IDK. Are there "real modeling jobs" for those over 30? If they are few, I could see the server-models being annoyed at being fired from this essentially not-modeling job.

The court would determine the true nature of what their job requirements were. What were they actually doing during their work shifts? I don't think wearing skimpy work uniforms would qualify as "modeling" since all restaurants require their employees to wear some kind of uniform.

I think that most of the girls hired knew what the job was really about but took it anyway. They wanted the job and since most were young (18 to early 20's) most probably thought they would have moved on by the time they were 30 to something better so the termination clause didn't deter them from taking the job. Also, lots of college students work in restaurants until they graduate so they would expect to be gone by the time they were 30. The ones that were suing were the ones (only three that we've seen) still there when they turned 30 and were fired but realistically the majority of the servers would have quit before then.

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I wonder if the lawsuit that we've spent so much time mulling over will wind up being nothing more than a coda at the end, with the "real" crime being the murder and rape(s).

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1 hour ago, shapeshifter said:

I wonder if the lawsuit that we've spent so much time mulling over will wind up being nothing more than a coda at the end, with the "real" crime being the murder and rape(s).

Vanessa is the only one who wasn't prepared to settle, while the others felt like what was on the table was pretty close to something they'd accept in order to get some damages and move on.  So now that she is dead, the other plaintiffs probably will accept a settlement agreement, especially with the attorney dead and her son having already worked out a deal behind her back - he and the defendant are ready to sign, and now there's no plaintiff holding out.  So I don't think the case's disposition will be a major player, just the issues raised by the claims; the things revealed about the workplace and the owner as he's investigated and as the co-plaintiffs are interviewed about Vanessa will continue to be part of the backdrop.  I'm not sure how explicit they'll make it that in a misogynist society, discrimination, harassment, and rape all co-exist on the same spectrum, but they're laying the groundwork.

Edited by Bastet.
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On 12/17/2017 at 2:05 PM, thewhiteowl said:

And if the contract is illegal, didn't the women break the law as much as he did by signing it?

No one broke the law by drafting or signing the contract, it is just unenforceable.  To borrow from one of our greatest legal minds, The People's Court Marilyn Milian, if Person A gives Person B $100 to go buy crack, A can't sue B to recover the money if B doesn't deliver.

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3 minutes ago, starri said:

No one broke the law by drafting or signing the contract, it is just unenforceable.  To borrow from one of our greatest legal minds, The People's Court Marilyn Milian, if Person A gives Person B $100 to go buy crack, A can't sue B to recover the money if B doesn't deliver.

That's what I was saying. You said it better. :-) 

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After watching this again, I'm even more leaning towards the wife/mother being the killer and the son being the rapist.  I agree with those who think the stun gun means a female killer, and I don't think the therapist is a suspect - I think she was introduced just to reveal the rape - and she's the only other woman except the co-plaintiffs.  And she's the only woman from whom I can draw a line between her and a man we've met to say, yes, if he's the rapist, it makes sense for her to kill to keep that from coming out.  Maybe her husband, but I think the son makes more sense. Plus the books being missing from Vanessa's place; that family just doesn't look good.  And with the talk about Bonnie being a great voice for women, and thus the tragedy of silencing her, it's an extra sting if it's a woman who did it.  So, I don't think any of the sexist assholes we've met - the director, the club owner - are going to wind up being the ones who did something for which they can be arrested (unless they can get Curtis on an old rape, but Natalie happened back in college, plus she's dead).

I adore Sharon and Rusty's relationship.  And I like the way Rusty and Andy have grown their relationship, slowly but steadily, so not only do I love the moment between Sharon and Rusty when he shows her his diploma, I love the proud little smile Rusty gives Andy when Andy asks what's going on and Rusty nods towards the diploma. 

I'm beyond over the Gus/Rusty thing, to the point it makes me angry for it to keep popping up on my screen.  I liked the way Gus helped illustrate the way all the victims feel, but the personal stuff, with Gus wanting to start over and Rusty not knowing how to ever trust him again - I get it, but I just can't anymore.  Especially with the focus on the cheating, without ever mentioning the fact Gus very likely told Aidan about Rusty's past. 

Gee, think the adapt/find a new way to love your life thing applies to Sharon?  I have a love/hate relationship with the cardiomyopathy storyline; I really like the concept of a woman who's made an art form out of controlling things and dealing her way into what she wants being confronted with the one thing she can't make a deal with, her health. (Plus, I love that after all these years, James Duff finally decided to give Mary McDonnell some additional notes to play, because she nails them all.)  I just love Sharon more than is reasonable since she's a fictional character, and thus don't want her to be sick.  I want her to, indeed, be able to adapt so that she's still happy in light of the changes this disease forces.

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