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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » Pedophiles, Theaters, and Ethics... Do you have any???

   
Author Topic: Pedophiles, Theaters, and Ethics... Do you have any???
Dave Williams
Wet nipple scene

Posts: 1836
From: Salt Lake City, UT, USA
Registered: Jan 2000


 - posted 08-14-2003 05:24 PM      Profile for Dave Williams   Author's Homepage   Email Dave Williams   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Here is a question of ethics...

I recently came across a document from an employee who stated that she was sexually harrassed by her superior. In my investigation (sticking my nose in it), I have since found that the alleged offender also has other alleged offences, such as harrassing other female employees, buying dinner for other female employees that kept thier mouths shut, having sex with employees in theater offices, involving other male and female employees in group sex in offices, sexual (non-nude) displays with other employees in common areas during operating hours, having sex with minor female employees on and off company premises, and the list goes on.

Now this person was "spoken to" by the powers that be, regarding this behavior. He has since stated to other employees that he will "make life hell for whomever is screwing with him", and will also "get even with the persons responsible".

Now with this in mind, the powers that be are doing nothing about this situation, and have even given him greater authority over theaters and employee situations.

Should I have remained with this company, or was I justified in resigning and walking out when this individual came into my presense asserting his authority, when he has none over me? Also take into account that the power that be refused my phone calls on this situation and others. This gives me the feeling of a serious ethical whitewash.

Was I justified in walking out? Should I get involved with the employees who were harmed in seeking legal action? Should I retaliate with a civil action of my own?

Your thoughts please.

Dave

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Phillip Seib
Film Handler

Posts: 7
From: Durham, NC, USA
Registered: Aug 2002


 - posted 08-14-2003 05:33 PM      Profile for Phillip Seib   Email Phillip Seib   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You may be out of luck now. Once you quit you have little recourse. You can take it up with the department of labor in your state. But you may not have any actionable claims because you were never personally sexually harrassed or put in a unsafe situation by this person or the company. You would have been able to act if you could not get resolution from your superiors but you have to create a paper trail weeks or months long. I f you did this then hold on to it and call lawyer.

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Joe Redifer
You need a beating today

Posts: 12859
From: Denver, Colorado
Registered: May 99


 - posted 08-14-2003 06:30 PM      Profile for Joe Redifer   Author's Homepage   Email Joe Redifer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I can't really comment because I do not know what position you nor the offender held in the company. But of course I will anyway.

Any real theater company would have fired his ass really quick. Even if they gave him another chance, going around telling others that he is going to get even should be considered a threat, and he should be fired for that and the police informed. Obviously the powers that be do not care about the well being of their employees. So I guess it is a good thing you got out since obviously this is a crappy place to work and always will be. The "powers that be" are comprised of incredibly stupid people. Oh, and you can tell them I said that.

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Michael Gonzalez
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 790
From: Grand Island , NE USA
Registered: Sep 2000


 - posted 08-14-2003 08:34 PM      Profile for Michael Gonzalez   Email Michael Gonzalez   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well if you really want to do something about this besides quitting. You could gather up the affected women (both current and formal employees) and (behind the scenes) encourge them to file a joint lawsuit. The company seems to be asking for one and if you have anything on paper as to the position of the company's attitude concerning the situation, then the case should be pretty open and shut. I am sure that losing a few thousand dollars would wake them up a bit.

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Tim Reed
Better Projection Pays

Posts: 5246
From: Northampton, PA
Registered: Sep 1999


 - posted 08-14-2003 08:59 PM      Profile for Tim Reed   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yep, that's "terroristic threatening" where I come from, and it's a bona fide charge.

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Will Kutler
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1506
From: Tucson, AZ, USA
Registered: Feb 2001


 - posted 08-14-2003 09:39 PM      Profile for Will Kutler   Email Will Kutler   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In todays society, many would be concerned citizens might avoid being involved with this type of situation for fear of retaliation. Just look at how many crazy people today go into public schools and workplaces with heavy munitions.

But there are still people with integrity whou would choose to be involved. In many cases, it is hard to prove allegations such as mentioned in this thread. This is why many people rely on hi-tech spy gadgets for both the home and business.

The proper civil authorities should also be contacted. With enough cause, they can obtain a warrant and "spy" as a means of catching this person in the act.

If the "powers to be" conducted themselves in the way described in this thread, then they are open to one hell of a lawsuit and possible criminal prosecution.

If these allegations proved true, and if I was a parent of one of these girls, then that sexual offender better hope that I don't get my hands on him! And that also goes for the "powers to be" if it was proven that they knew about and condoned these actions!

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Joe Redifer
You need a beating today

Posts: 12859
From: Denver, Colorado
Registered: May 99


 - posted 08-15-2003 01:49 AM      Profile for Joe Redifer   Author's Homepage   Email Joe Redifer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
"Fear of retaliation" is BS. If you don't give someone what they deserve and let them know why, they'll just continue that behavior. You may think "Well he/she's gone now so it's not my problem". But you're possibly setting some other future employer for the same problems. Also, when people finally do get involved and the offender gets what they deserve, that's when he goes nuts and shoots people. He's used to getting away with everything up to that point again and again due to fear of retaliation. Now he must retaliate, like a child throwing a fit the first time his parents yell at him. I actually know of a guy who was fired for sexual harassment (he actually touched the girl, who is a minor). The boss told him that he was being let go because "he wasn't satisfied with his work". So the guy loses his job, but I'm sure he thinks it's OK to do what he did and he may try to take it even further in the future.

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Dave Williams
Wet nipple scene

Posts: 1836
From: Salt Lake City, UT, USA
Registered: Jan 2000


 - posted 08-15-2003 02:54 AM      Profile for Dave Williams   Author's Homepage   Email Dave Williams   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
A few years ago, this same company had trouble with a manager who with two employees gang raped a 12 and 13 year old set of girls after closing. (it was consentual that they agreed to be there, but they did not agree to the sexual acts).

The three involved were arrested and convicted. One is still serving time and will for a while. The parents were very upset, but let it go to avoid public thrashing of thier teenage daughters.

The criminal situation was hushed, thanks to my contacts with the local media. The theater in question closed immediatly, and remained closed.

It shocks me that they do not see this happening again. Then again, it really doesn't.

I feel very good about my decision to leave. I have high ethics and morals. I did my duty, I hold my head up high, and I hope that the alleged victims do contact the police and or lawyers.

This company cannot afford any negative publicity, it has had way too much already.

Dave

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Chris Hipp
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1462
From: Mesquite, Tx (east of Dallas)
Registered: Jul 2003


 - posted 08-15-2003 04:39 AM      Profile for Chris Hipp   Email Chris Hipp   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Negative publicity may be the only way to get anything accomplished. A large percentage of theatre business comes from families coming to the movies and I doubt that any parents would bring their kids to a place where the management is acting like this.

I guarantee that if attendance drops by X amount a week, the "powers that be" will get their act together.

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Josh Kirkhart
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 165
From: Austin/Houston, TX, USA
Registered: Nov 2001


 - posted 08-15-2003 06:37 AM      Profile for Josh Kirkhart   Email Josh Kirkhart   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
First of all, this is not an attack on Mr. Williams.

I do believe if you have direct knowledge of any of these acts especially the illegal ones, you had a obligation to go a lot further. By'poking your nose in it' you became part of the situation.Statements should have been written, the authorities been contacted and if needed notify the media. Now, the media would be a last resort because you are then opening yourself to a 'defimation' lawsuit from the accused and the chain. By walking out, essentially you threw up your hands and said 'its not my problem, I hope everything works out', meanwhile if the offenders go unpunished or squandered thier behavior may worsen.

Now, this is my opinion and in no way am I trying to offend you, life is about choice.

I applaud you posting the situation here, but we can comment on this all day and night yet we are not in your boots.

You yourself do have a case, they created a 'hostile work enviroment', go for it.

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Martin Brooks
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 900
From: Forest Hills, NY, USA
Registered: May 2002


 - posted 08-15-2003 10:14 AM      Profile for Martin Brooks   Author's Homepage   Email Martin Brooks   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I agree with the statement about a "hostile work environment". If management's failure to address the issues with this employee created an untenable working environment for you, you do actually have a case against the company.

It's also important that management knows WHY you quit, although you might not want to do anything at this point if you decide to seek any kind of legal remedy.

Not everything the employee did is illegal. Although sexual harassment rules vary from State to State and company to company, generally sexual harassment takes place when an employee is subject to UNWANTED sexual advances, physical contact or words by a superior. A superior is anyone who has direct or indirect control over the employee's work, hours, reviews, promotional opportunities, etc. A complaint must be made - there is no harassment without a complaint. If a superior is not involved, it's not strictly sexual harassment, although it might construe a hostile working environment.

Obviously, companies also have rules about the use of their facilities on company time, so someone could be fired for using company facilities in order to have sex with someone, regardless of whether harassment was involved. Having sex with a minor below the age of consent is illegal in most (if not all) States even if there was consent. However, most companies will not fire an employee for an illegal act outside of company premises until they are convicted.

In several of the companies I've worked for, the rules were pretty simple. If there was a charge of harassment and it was reasonably proven that it had actually taken place, the person of the higher level had to leave the company. (In one company I worked at, an employee accused two senior execs of sexual harassment and conspiring against her when "they were in college together." The only problem is that the two execs were aged 12 years apart and never went to college together.)

Frankly, I'm very surprised your former company put up with all this, especially if they're a large company. Companies care more about avoiding lawsuits than keeping employees. Most companies I know would very quickly dump the employees involved. The fact that they didn't strengthens your case against them, should you choose to pursue one.

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Dave Williams
Wet nipple scene

Posts: 1836
From: Salt Lake City, UT, USA
Registered: Jan 2000


 - posted 08-15-2003 12:35 PM      Profile for Dave Williams   Author's Homepage   Email Dave Williams   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
There are many other issues at hand, most of which I cannot say, due to confidentiality agreements and such. What I can say is they feel that they have reason to hush things, at least in the short term.

As for if I had an obligation to go forward with action, I disagree. Although I put my nose into the situation, It was not me who was harmed by any others actions. I cannot do anything that those that were harmed do not allow me permission to do, such as go forward with criminal investigations.

These are minors that are the alleged victims, and most of them just "don't want to get involved" with criminal investigations, fear of going public, the way that they feel they would be looked at by future employers, current friends and family, etc.

However, I do plan on contacting the individuals in this case to see if they want help in pursuing criminal or civil cases, and if they would also be willing to help in any case that I may pursue, regarding "hostile work environment" issues.

Any threat of negative publicity would make this company squirm, but they would not really learn anything. It would probably be better if they did sell the company straight out and let another entity give this a go.

Dave

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John Spooner
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 186
From: South Australia, Australia
Registered: Jan 2003


 - posted 08-15-2003 01:46 PM      Profile for John Spooner   Email John Spooner   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Dave. Most importantly of all,when you left the organisation, you did so with a clear consience and you did not compromise your professional ethics.
My best wishes on any action you are planning, be careful as you may be dealing with vested interests who will operate without any ethics or morals.
John Spooner.

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