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Finlay Resigns, Catazaro and Ramasar Suspended -- Update: Catazaro and Ramasar Fired

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10 minutes ago, Ashton Fan said:

I suspect that from now on in the main concern of NYCB and SAB will be to limit the damage as it looks as if neither are likely to escape with their reputation unscathed.

If absolutely nothing else, I hope that the mess results in the creation of a code of conduct for NYCB members w/r/t SAB. I was really, really surprised to read, in the amended complaint, that no such code exists. It seems like a huge blind spot, especially if company members can/do choose to take SAB classes. 

(I’m not, of course, in a position to determine whether that blindness is or was willful—or whether willfulness would even matter in this case.)

Edited by tutu
clarifying language

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30 minutes ago, aurora said:

NYCB and ABT are not responsible for the actions of their donors, generally speaking.

This is not generally speaking.  If a Company gets a complaint against a donor, I think they need to follow up.  (This can include financial issues, like they are made aware that someone is not likely to follow through on his pledge, so that they don't make a dependent financial commitment if it goes sour.)  If they get a heads up that one of their donors has questionable, public interactions with its dancers, I think they'd be wise to watch carefully, because the money isn't worth the trouble. 

 

40 minutes ago, Longtimelurker said:

So if that is the case then is there also a systemic issue at the employer of the Craig Hall named in the complaint?

That would depend on the situation at his employer.   Most don't have feeder schools managed by the same people as the employer that lead directly into roles in their company, though.  I also don't see where he sent and solicited photos of his co-workers to other members of his company.

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1 minute ago, Helene said:

This is not generally speaking.  If a Company gets a complaint against a donor, I think they need to follow up.  (This can include financial issues, like they are made aware that someone is not likely to follow through on his pledge, so that they don't make a dependent financial commitment if it goes sour.)  If they get a heads up that one of their donors has questionable, public interactions with its dancers, I think they'd be wise to watch carefully, because the money isn't worth the trouble.

Helene, I was responding to a very specific suggestion--that is, that ABT, or YAGP for that matter, might also be responsible for Longhitano. Given the circumstances I don't see how they would be. That said it would certainly behoove them them cut ties with him given what they know now, if they haven't already.

I agree with what you wrote here 100%.

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Well now we know why Catazaro and Ramasar were fired on Saturday. I assume NYCB was served with the amended complaint before it was uploaded to the court systems.

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[More Admin Notes]

Only public-facing media is acceptable.  If an account goes private after-the-fact where the text has been captured permanently -- ie, not a link that no longer resolves -- when it was public-facing, then it doesn't have to be removed.  But if the content isn't posted and permanent when it was public-facing, then it's not acceptable here.

And, no, members don't have the ability to upload images.

[/Admin Notes]

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Just now, canbelto said:

Well now we know why Catazaro and Ramasar were fired on Saturday. I assume NYCB was served with the amended complaint before it was uploaded to the court systems.

We really don't know anything.  The summons and the amended complaint were filed on September 18.  We don't know if the communications described in the amended complaint were ones they had when they investigated and decided to suspend, or they were presented with additional communications.  I don't see much in the newly disclosed texts that makes their case to fire stronger or weaker from a contractual point of view; it might make a stronger hostile work environment defense of the firings possible in arbitration, but that is the opposite of what they need to defend against the lawsuit, if the court does not exclude them from the complaint. 

The Company still maintains that all communications were sent off hours and off premises, and that they are the uncondoned actions of private actors.  Starting with the original complaint, the claim is that they were sent during work hours. The revised complaint seeks to counter the Company's claim by adding some dates/some dates and times.  The Company would be between a rock and a hard place if the communications they investigated were date/datetime stamped during work hours, but they claimed were not.

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I have not been able to keep up with the volume of posts on this topic (now over 1300!), so this may already have been mentioned. But putting aside the photo sharing allegations, and focusing strictly on Ramasar and Catazaro's texting comments, I don't see how this is relevant to their employment or what they could be sued for. If they had expressed crude or sexualized comments to female colleagues and it was unwelcome, then sure, that's their workplace behavior. But expressing it to each other should be their own business.

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4 minutes ago, cobweb said:

But putting aside the photo sharing allegations,

That's like putting aside slipping the roofie into the drink: it's the basis of the case, the argument for damages, and potentially criminal, at least where Waterbury's images are concerned.

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5 minutes ago, Helene said:

That's like putting aside slipping the roofie into the drink

I don't know what a roofie is, but yes, I was trying to sort out the relative significance of the allegations. The texting seems to me of much less significance than the photo sharing, but as they say, I am not a lawyer. 

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I'm still new here and hoping this post is acceptable.  I noticed and am pondering Sterling Hytin's comment on Ramasar's last post.  I believe Ramasar's account is still public-facing, and thus, okay to reference?

Another user left a comment on the post, challenging Hyltin and Kowroski on their "public support" of Amar.  Hytlin responds:

I absolutely understand your sentiment, @(user) and hold young girls everywhere in my thoughts in all my actions.  It's my duty to do so.  However, there is too much hate and quickness to convict in this world. Part of being a role model for youth is also showing support when someone is actually trying to take responsibility. I did not "like" or comment on his previous post because there was nothing that went in the right direction in regards to acknowledgement or apology. Part of being a role model is teaching compassion when it is appropriate to do so in order to promote healing and kindness in general. And, yes, there is plenty that the general public doesn't know regarding this horrendous situation.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bn1VElYAjUE/?taken-by=ramastar81

 

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4 minutes ago, Helene said:

The Company still maintains that all communications were sent off hours and off premises, and that they are the uncondoned actions of private actors.  Starting with the original complaint, the claim is that they were sent during work hours. The revised complaint seeks to counter the Company's claim by adding some dates/some dates and times.  The Company would be between a rock and a hard place if the communications they investigated were date/datetime stamped during work hours, but they claimed were not.

I understand that it would look bad for the company if they had to backtrack on their claim that the communications were sent off hours and off premises and it would bolster their reasoning for firing Catazaro and Ramasar in their dispute with the union, but is there a legal ramification related to the Waterbury case if they had to backtrack? Employees at every company send personal texts during work hours on company premises as well as on off hours and off premises and the ability of the employer to know what the content of those messages doesn't change with the timing or location of when those messages were sent or received.

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The Company is claiming they had no responsibility for what the dancers did on their own time, and that the lawsuit should not apply to them.

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13 hours ago, Ilovegiselle said:

Don’t you think they live sheltered lives?

Re: Finlay, Catazaro & Ramasar.

They are grown adult men who should know right from wrong and were working professionals until they were fired (Ramasar/Catazaro) or resigned (Finlay).

They were not prisoners in a dungeon, with no access to the outside world, no education, no social interaction, no responsibilities.

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5 minutes ago, bluejean said:

I'm still new here and hoping this post is acceptable.  I noticed and am pondering Sterling Hytin's comment on Ramasar's last post.  I believe Ramasar's account is still public-facing, and thus, okay to reference?

It is a public-facing post by a ballet professional, at least at the time you posted and quoted it, and we could verify this and the quote when you posted.  So it is fine.

 

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2 minutes ago, bluejean said:

I'm still new here and hoping this post is acceptable.  I noticed and am pondering Sterling Hytin's comment on Ramasar's last post.  I believe Ramasar's account is still public-facing, and thus, okay to reference?

Another user left a comment on the post, challenging Hyltin and Kowroski on their "public support" of Amar.  Hytlin responds:

I absolutely understand your sentiment, @(user) and hold young girls everywhere in my thoughts in all my actions.  It's my duty to do so.  However, there is too much hate and quickness to convict in this world. Part of being a role model for youth is also showing support when someone is actually trying to take responsibility. I did not "like" or comment on his previous post because there was nothing that went in the right direction in regards to acknowledgement or apology. Part of being a role model is teaching compassion when it is appropriate to do so in order to promote healing and kindness in general. And, yes, there is plenty that the general public doesn't know regarding this horrendous situation.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bn1VElYAjUE/?taken-by=ramastar81

 

Thank you for pointing this out. I admire the attitude she is taking toward this situation, especially in light of her comment at the end that there is much to this situation that the public is unaware of. I think many of us who only have publicly available information have been quick to judge the dancers and condemn the company.

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1 minute ago, Longtimelurker said:

Thank you for pointing this out. I admire the attitude she is taking toward this situation, especially in light of her comment at the end that there is much to this situation that the public is unaware of. I think many of us who only have publicly available information have been quick to judge the dancers and condemn the company.

If they want to speak about it publicly, then we can discuss it and include it in our judgements and reactions.  

I can't imagine what mitigating circumstances there could be for the image-sharing and text/email/chat content, but if they want to try, that's fine, too. 

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6 minutes ago, Helene said:

The Company is claiming they had no responsibility for what the dancers did on their own time, and that the lawsuit should not apply to them.

Yes I understand they may have to amend that part of their defense, but does it actually matter from a legal sense if the messages were exchanged during work hours? From a logical point of view, I don't see how the timing or location of where personal messages were sent would change the company's responsibility for their content.

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Just now, Longtimelurker said:

I don't see how the timing or location of where personal messages were sent would change the company's responsibility for their content.

The Company seems to.

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These accounts further confirm my negative opinions and suspicions about this individual. One can see from his post on February 11, 2013 that he was involved with an event for ABT.

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Even during work hours,  employees have their "own time" -  lunch,  bathroom breaks,  etc.  During rehearsal,  there are AGMA mandated break times,  during which dancers are free to do whatever they please,  like snack or check their email.  Unless communications were sent using company provided devices,  in the middle of a performance or rehearsal,  the "work hours" argument is unlikely to hold water.

 

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42 minutes ago, bluejean said:

I'm still new here and hoping this post is acceptable.  I noticed and am pondering Sterling Hytin's comment on Ramasar's last post.  I believe Ramasar's account is still public-facing, and thus, okay to reference?

Another user left a comment on the post, challenging Hyltin and Kowroski on their "public support" of Amar.  Hytlin responds:

I absolutely understand your sentiment, @(user) and hold young girls everywhere in my thoughts in all my actions.  It's my duty to do so.  However, there is too much hate and quickness to convict in this world. Part of being a role model for youth is also showing support when someone is actually trying to take responsibility. I did not "like" or comment on his previous post because there was nothing that went in the right direction in regards to acknowledgement or apology. Part of being a role model is teaching compassion when it is appropriate to do so in order to promote healing and kindness in general. And, yes, there is plenty that the general public doesn't know regarding this horrendous situation.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bn1VElYAjUE/?taken-by=ramastar81

 

I actually was thinking the same thing -- that Ramasar's first post was extremely poorly thought out, and it was his second that at least expressed remorse over his actions. 

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53 minutes ago, ABT Fan said:

Re: Finlay, Catazaro & Ramasar.

They are grown adult men who should know right from wrong and were working professionals until they were fired (Ramasar/Catazaro) or resigned (Finlay).

They were not prisoners in a dungeon, with no access to the outside world, no education, no social interaction, no responsibilities.

This may prove to be the crux of the case.  Yes,  Finlay,  Ramasar and Catazaro are grown adult men,  but Waterbury's complaint against NYCB puts forth the theory that the company has a duty to monitor their thoughts,  communications and activities,  as if they were lacking in capacity and personal agency.  Even minors can be held legally responsible for their own actions if they have reached an age where the court deems they should know right from wrong.  If parents can't  be held responsible in those situations,  how does it follow that an employer can be held responsible for what adult employees do on their own time?  It doesn't matter whether the activity is legal,  illegal,  or in this case,  rests in a gray area in between.  If Finlay,  Catazaro and Ramasar decided to rob a bank between performances,  they could be held to account for committing a crime,  but the bank doesn't have a case against the NYCB.

Edited by On Pointe
Typo

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I don't read the complaint that way with regard the claim for NYCB's culpability:  I read the argument that, though prior actions, they knew about and condoned activity and, from the start of the pipeline at SAB to the Company, created and enabled an environment that led to the actions against Waterbury.  

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I don't know if this is a factor, but the messaging between the dancers named in the suit may have been something of an open secret that other dancers were aware of but didn't know the specifics of. This could have been through comments overheard on breaks, facial expressions, hudddles in the back of the room, changes in tone of voice, etc.  Something a colleague might be slightly curious about but at the same time sense that she or he should keep their distance from.

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