Who are Lance's victims and what have they lost?

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May 23, 2010
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Ninety5rpm said:
I'd like to know what white-collar crimes you're thinking of that don't have victims. What comes to mind is embezzling, which clearly has a victim (the embezzled). The bank employee who conspires with his high school buddies to rob the bank is a white collar criminal guilty of a crime with a victim (the bank).

I too want the truth to come out, but I also recognize my desire for the truth to come out does not warrant violating the rights of others in, I hate to say it, a witch hunt for the commission of a crime. Most investigation start with evidence of a crime being committed, and then they try to figure out who did it. So I'm just asking, what is the crime here and who are the victims?

I like the Ullrich answer, and I agree he was a victim of Armstong in some sense of the word, but I don't see a legal case there. That is, I don't see him going to the police to claim he was legally wronged, that he's a victim in the eyes of the law. Our legal/sports systems are not connected like that.

Let's say the police catches you speeding. No one's hurt, but you were just a bit beyond the posted speed limit. Instead of a ticket, you and the police come to an arrangement that you will donate $50 to the college fund of the police's daughter. You hand him the bill and that's that. No victims, in fact everyone walks away happy. Hence no crime?

If you do a bit of misrepresentation to get a sponsorship from a quasi-government agency, to promote the image of clean, pro cycling next to the sponsor's name - and then later are found to have lied about it, no harm done since everyone belived the lies at the time and hence the sponsor got their publicity. No need to open old wounds. No one got hurt. No crime?

Your twisted sense of the legal system is probably exactly how LA justified his actions to himself. No one's getting hurt. In fact lots of people are benefiting, cancer survivors and all. He figured as long as he was not caught in a doping test, he was as good as gold.

The problem at the end is that if you lie long enough, some people will become mad at you. At the end it does not matter what chapter of the legal book they catch you with. What did Al Capone go to prison for? Tax evasion.
 
Francois the Postman said:
Ninety5rpm said:
Now,

c) If your boss says "clean the toilets for 16 hours or I won't pay you for the work you did for the last two weeks", that's not coercion, but it is theft (and thus a crime) if he indeed does not pay you.
Disagree. That is a blatant coercion too.

The consequences of the threat ("gun") might not be lethal, but that doesn't mean you haven't got a threat of harmful consequences levelled at you, and thus under no definition of "free choice" constitutes this a genuine choice. Something that is yours is put at stake in both the b and c example (owed wages and a head that doesn't leak when you get into the bath tub). You are being coerced.

For some people with two weeks wages at stake, you might as well count it a gun too. [And even in your way of reasoning about it, in the gun situation, you still have a choice too, if you want to get ueber-technical].

Lose your job because you refused an illegitimate order above and beyond the contracts in place, and the person losing the job could actually still end up winning a "loss of income" action in court. Depending on the contracts and laws in place. And if they wanted to put their lives on hold for a while, probably suffering more consequences than the initial loss would warrant.

Usually damn hard to prove and for a variety of reasons it is often easier to comply than fight your ground with your boss. But I wouldn't want to be a boss going into court with that conversation on tape on the list of submitted evidence.
Look at it this way. If instead of "clean the toilets or I won't pay you", the boss simply said, "I won't pay you", where's the harm? The harm does not occur unless the employee is really never paid. That's TBD, and there is no clear and imminent threat that requires you to take the action in question in order to avoid the harm. That's why I say it's not coercion.

Now consider "clean the toilets or I'll shoot you in the head". Here we have a clear and imminent threat. Assuming he follows through, you have no recourse since you'll be dead, so that is coercion.

Anyway, that's really a tangent. My main point was to distinguish between a and b:

a) If your boss says "clean the toilets for 16 hours or I'll fire you", that's not coercion.
b) If your boss says "clean the toilets for 16 hours or I'll fire this gun at your head", that is coercion.
 
Tubeless said:
Let's say the police catches you speeding. No one's hurt, but you were just a bit beyond the posted speed limit. Instead of a ticket, you and the police come to an arrangement that you will donate $50 to the college fund of the police's daughter. You hand him the bill and that's that. No victims, in fact everyone walks away happy. Hence no crime?
In order to have a system of justice that protects people's rights, you need to have integrity in that system. You have to be able to trust it. So you need to create special rules, artificial rules, above and beyond the basic to protect rights. Rules like no bribing cops and judges.

Traffic law is arguably a form of contract law in that when you obtain a license you agree to abide by the rules, so when you violate the rules, you're in violation. The "victim" is the party with which you entered a contract... the state.

Tubeless said:
If you do a bit of misrepresentation to get a sponsorship from a quasi-government agency, to promote the image of clean, pro cycling next to the sponsor's name - and then later are found to have lied about it, no harm done since everyone belived the lies at the time and hence the sponsor got their publicity. No need to open old wounds. No one got hurt. No crime?
Again, there is no law against lying in general. If you lie under oath, that's different (and that may be relevant here). If there is breach of contract that's something too. But plain old lying with no other crime? Not a crime as far as I know.

Tubeless said:
Your twisted sense of the legal system is probably exactly how LA justified his actions to himself. No one's getting hurt. In fact lots of people are benefiting, cancer survivors and all. He figured as long as he was not caught in a doping test, he was as good as gold.
If so, was he wrong? Hurting people is not necessarily a crime. You have to violate their rights for it to be a crime.

Tubeless said:
The problem at the end is that if you lie long enough, some people will become mad at you. At the end it does not matter what chapter of the legal book they catch you with. What did Al Capone go to prison for? Tax evasion.
Yes, but Capone truly was guilty of the crime of evading taxes (another area of "artificial law" in which the "victim" is "the state"). He essentially reported no income, and yet was extremely wealthy. What crime is Armstrong truly guilty of?
 
Jul 11, 2009
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Realist said:
That depends on which particular crime. US taxpayers. Sponsors. Other athletes coerced into doping. Simeoni. Cyclists who never got a chance because they didn't dope. There are endless possibilities.

to be found guilty they have to prove he doped and he has 500 negitive tests to say he didnt, doesn't matter who or how many people says he did.
 
fatterboy said:
to be found guilty they have to prove he doped and he has 500 negitive tests to say he didnt, doesn't matter who or how many people says he did.
One or 500 negative tests does not prove he did not dope. There are plenty of witnesses who can explain how to dope and still pass hundreds of tests, starting with Armstrong's supposed arch-nemesis, Jan Ullrich.

Did I just get BPCed?
 
Jul 3, 2010
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Ninety5rpm said:
Traffic law is arguably a form of contract law in that when you obtain a license you agree to abide by the rules, so when you violate the rules, you're in violation. The "victim" is the party with which you entered a contract... the state.

By which logic, Armstrong, by competing, is entering into a contract to adhere to the rules of the sport, so when he violates the rules he's in violation. The victim is the party with which he entered the contract... the sporting body under whose rules the sport is administered.
 
Aug 13, 2009
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fatterboy said:
to be found guilty they have to prove he doped and he has 500 negitive tests to say he didnt, doesn't matter who or how many people says he did.

do you have a link for this 500 tests claim of did you just make it up?
 
Oct 29, 2009
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Ninety5rpm said:
Look at it this way. If instead of "clean the toilets or I won't pay you", the boss simply said, "I won't pay you", where's the harm? The harm does not occur unless the employee is really never paid. That's TBD, and there is no clear and imminent threat that requires you to take the action in question in order to avoid the harm. That's why I say it's not coercion.

So you argue that just because someone could inform you they'll see to it that your house will burn down in two weeks time time for no particular reason, and that might not even happen (TBD), that that is exactly why you claim that no coercive threat is made by saying "Clean my toilets now or I will see to it that your house will down in 2 weeks time".

Uhm, disagree. You are putting the horse and cart in the wrong order.

Coercing is the act of threatening a harmful consequence for a non complier. Not something that happens when you follow through on the threat.

Future work is the red herring here. It is making the threat that is the key. What and how only affects the potential punishment (if any) for the perpetrator, levelling the threat is the act of transgression, the coercion.

Threatening behaviour is prohibited by law in most places on earth.

If no plausible harm was foreshadowed, it would be a ****-poor threat, wouldn't it? It obviously includes something that is deemed compelling enough to try to take someone hostage with it, and force them into an act they are free to refuse (and probably would if genuinely free). A gun by a different name.

A contract is in place and is being threatened. Guaranteed income is is also a property of sorts if under normal circumstances you would be presumed able to fulfil your part of the deal.

Now consider "clean the toilets or I'll shoot you in the head". Here we have a clear and imminent threat. Assuming he follows through, you have no recourse since you'll be dead, so that is coercion.

Or (taken from West's Encyclopaedia of American Law, Edition 2)...

Coercion: The intimidation of a victim to compel the individual to do some act against his or her will by the use of psychological pressure, physical force, or threats. The crime of intentionally and unlawfully restraining another's freedom by threatening to commit a crime, accusing the victim of a crime, disclosing any secret that would seriously impair the victim's reputation in the community, or by performing or refusing to perform an official action lawfully requested by the victim, or by causing an official to do so.

It doesn't even mention anything "imminent". It doesn't matter.

Anyway, that's really a tangent. My main point was to distinguish between a and b:

a) If your boss says "clean the toilets for 16 hours or I'll fire you", that's not coercion.
b) If your boss says "clean the toilets for 16 hours or I'll fire this gun at your head", that is coercion.

What does recourse have to do with it? To say it is not coercion if you are not ending up dead immediately, just potentially out of a job immediately, that's like suggesting that it isn't a burglary now, since you are clearly able to ring the police or take the perp to court afterwards and/or only a windows 95 PC was stolen.

It probably doesn't help to talk across nations and states boundaries, but here, and most places "there" around me and you, the moment a credible threat is levelled against a person or that person's interest, an unlawful transgression takes place. What you threaten with doesn't alter transgression committed (but might add to the list of transgressions and will probably impact the seriousness of the the crime and the consequential punishment, if any).

The way you described it, the employee has to decide and act on the spot or face probable harmful consequences without knowing how real the threat is (arguably, there are only harmful consequences left either way).

Like you hinted at, if you are fired for no good reason (like after having been threatened to do things that were not of part of your contract and refusing to do so), there are usual ways to get redress. How and how much depends on the country. Through courts and (binding) tribunals. Usually it is very hard to make your case (word against word) and the amount of hassle it triggers is usually seen as "not worth it".

Without protection many employees would face coercion by bosses in the work place. Even with protection it takes place frequently. It's exactly why most states have laws governing base clauses in employment contracts, and enforce standards in the work place. Increasingly so. To stop situations like this, when you are being coerced, and have no fair way out. As I said, I wouldn't want to to be a boss with that conversation on tape.

But it's bizarre to argue about "if it is coercion or not" when it's bloody obvious you are forced to do something that is against your will. Something of yours is held hostage. A gun is pointed in both cases. In case b) it is not against your head, but at one of your direct personal interests, your work contract. Which is still against "legally yours" in another name.

To get it back on topic. Speculatively: if riders were pressurised to commit fraud - doping whilst pretending to be clean with parties they made contractual agreements with and who lost out as a consequence, stating that they were dope-free explicitly - by hinting to the rider that there would be consequences that would harm an already guaranteed or plausible consequential interest of the rider (work contract - racing opportunities - etc), in that hypothetical case there would also be coercion.

They would still commit fraud by going ahead. If it was a genuinely free option offer, it is clear cut: no coercion. If they were pressurised at first, but later chose to continue to do so voluntary, ditto: at some point they stopped being coerced into it and it became a free choice.
 
Tim_sleepless said:
By which logic, Armstrong, by competing, is entering into a contract to adhere to the rules of the sport, so when he violates the rules he's in violation. The victim is the party with which he entered the contract... the sporting body under whose rules the sport is administered.
Yes, but does that kind of contractual violation rise to the level of a crime? Seems like a civil matter to me, not criminal.
 
Francois the Postman said:
So you argue that just because someone could inform you they'll see to it that your house will burn down in two weeks time time for no particular reason, and that might not even happen (TBD), that that is exactly why you claim that no coercive threat is made by saying "Clean my toilets now or I will see to it that your house will down in 2 weeks time".

Uhm, disagree. You are putting the horse and cart in the wrong order.

Coercing is the act of threatening a harmful consequence for a non complier. Not something that happens when you follow through on the threat.

Future work is the red herring here. It is making the threat that is the key. What and how only affects the potential punishment (if any) for the perpetrator, levelling the threat is the act of transgression, the coercion.

Threatening behaviour is prohibited by law in most places on earth.
Huh?

If you don't stand on your head without eating or drinking for a year, I won't give you a hundred dollars.

By your definition that's threatening behavior that violates your rights.

The nature of the harmful consequence matters.

Francois the Postman said:
If no plausible harm was foreshadowed, it would be a ****-poor threat, wouldn't it? It obviously includes something that is deemed compelling enough to try to take someone hostage with it, and force them into an act they are free to refuse (and probably would if genuinely free). A gun by a different name.

A contract is in place and is being threatened. Guaranteed income is is also a property of sorts if under normal circumstances you would be presumed able to fulfil your part of the deal.

What does recourse have to do with it? To say it is not coercion if you are not ending up dead immediately, just potentially out of a job immediately, that's like suggesting that it isn't a burglary now, since you are clearly able to ring the police or take the perp to court afterwards and/or only a windows 95 PC was stolen.
If you hire John Doe to do some gardening in your yard, and then you find out your nephew Fred lost his job so you want to hire him instead, you should be able to fire John without explanation in order to hire Fred, since John's right to be your gardener is totally and completely subject to whether you want to continue employing him. Now, you owe any agreed amount for working already done, but you don't owe him employment tomorrow. So if you say "eat worms or I'll fire you" that's not threatening him with harm, since firing someone is not harming them in a way that violates their rights.

Francois the Postman said:
It probably doesn't help to talk across nations and states boundaries, but here, and most places "there" around me and you, the moment a credible threat is levelled against a person or that person's interest, an unlawful transgression takes place. What you threaten with doesn't alter transgression committed (but might add to the list of transgressions and will probably impact the seriousness of the the crime and the consequential punishment, if any).
Of course what you threaten with alters the transgression committed; it determines whether any transgression was committed. Otherwise any woman who ever threatened to leave a man who won't stop being a slob would a criminal.

Francois the Postman said:
The way you described it, the employee has to decide and act on the spot or face probable harmful consequences without knowing how real the threat is (arguably, there are only harmful consequences left either way).
Just like the guy has to clean up his mess or face the probable consequences of a very dry spell in the sex department.

Francois the Postman said:
Like you hinted at, if you are fired for no good reason (like after having been threatened to do things that were not of part of your contract and refusing to do so), there are usual ways to get redress. How and how much depends on the country. Through courts and (binding) tribunals. Usually it is very hard to make your case (word against word) and the amount of hassle it triggers is usually seen as "not worth it".
I don't want to get off on this tangent, but I think the whole area of law that "protects" employees from unjustified firing is misguided - no employer should ever have to justify firing anyone for any reason, because no employee has a right to be employed tomorrow.

Francois the Postman said:
Without protection many employees would face coercion by bosses in the work place. Even with protection it takes place frequently. It's exactly why most states have laws governing base clauses in employment contracts, and enforce standards in the work place. Increasingly so. To stop situations like this, when you are being coerced, and have no fair way out. As I said, I wouldn't want to to be a boss with that conversation on tape.
Anyone who is not a slave is not prevented from saying "I quit" in response to unreasonable requests from an employer, therefore there is no such thing as coercion in the (non-slave) workplace. Unless of course other conditions are put into place to which both employer and employee agree, and those conditions are violated.


Francois the Postman said:
But it's bizarre to argue about "if it is coercion or not" when it's bloody obvious you are forced to do something that is against your will. Something of yours is held hostage. A gun is pointed in both cases. In case b) it is not against your head, but at one of your direct personal interests, your work contract. Which is still against "legally yours" in another name.
By that definition any time anyone does anything for pay - that they wouldn't do if they weren't paid - is coercion. By that definition garbage men are coerced to pick up garbage, nurses are coerced to take care of the sick, teachers are coerced to teach, programmers are coerced to write software, etc.

Francois the Postman said:
To get it back on topic. Speculatively: if riders were pressurised to commit fraud - doping whilst pretending to be clean with parties they made contractual agreements with and who lost out as a consequence, stating that they were dope-free explicitly - by hinting to the rider that there would be consequences that would harm an already guaranteed or plausible consequential interest of the rider (work contract - racing opportunities - etc), in that hypothetical case there would also be coercion.

They would still commit fraud by going ahead. If it was a genuinely free option offer, it is clear cut: no coercion. If they were pressurised at first, but later chose to continue to do so voluntary, ditto: at some point they stopped being coerced into it and it became a free choice.
They were all free to quit. Many did. They chose not to. That's not coercion. That's choice.
 
Jul 3, 2010
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Ninety5rpm said:
Huh?

If you don't stand on your head without eating or drinking for a year, I won't give you a hundred dollars.

By your definition that's threatening behavior that violates your rights.

The nature of the harmful consequence matters.


By that definition any time anyone does anything for pay - that they wouldn't do if they weren't paid - is coercion. By that definition garbage men are coerced to pick up garbage, nurses are coerced to take care of the sick, teachers are coerced to teach, programmers are coerced to write software, etc.


They were all free to quit. Many did. They chose not to. That's not coercion. That's choice.

Coercion is having to do something to avoid a negative consquence. Doing something in order to achieve a positive consequence is not cooercion.
 
Jul 11, 2009
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Ninety5rpm said:
One or 500 negative tests does not prove he did not dope. There are plenty of witnesses who can explain how to dope and still pass hundreds of tests, starting with Armstrong's supposed arch-nemesis, Jan Ullrich.

Did I just get BPCed?

correct but they can not prove he did and that is what they have to do he dose not have to prove he didn't and he hasn't failed a test (with out the right paper work ) :rolleyes:
Jan still states the he rode clean so I don't think you will see him doing that
By the way I think La did dope but as people say so did every one else .
 
fatterboy said:
correct but they can not prove he did and that is what they have to do he dose not have to prove he didn't and he hasn't failed a test (with out the right paper work )

I hope neither of you (you or Lance) are putting all your eggs in that basket...
 
Tim_sleepless said:
Coercion is having to do something to avoid a negative consquence. Doing something in order to achieve a positive consequence is not cooercion.
Agreed.

Losing a job is not a negative consequence, no matter how much it might feel like it.
Keeping a job is a positive consequence.
So doing something in order to keep your job is not doing something to avoid a negative consequence, but doing something to achieve a positive consequence. So doing something to keep your job is not coercion.

Before you jump to the conclusion that I'm playing semantics, note that the same cannot be said for being shot in the head. That is, the following is nonsense for the reasons provided in the Italics:

Being shot in the head is not a negative consequence (yes it is negative!)
Not being shot in the head is a positive consequence (it's neutral).
 
Ninety5rpm said:
Agreed.

Losing a job is not a negative consequence, no matter how much it might feel like it.
Keeping a job is a positive consequence.
So doing something in order to keep your job is not doing something to avoid a negative consequence, but doing something to achieve a positive consequence. So doing something to keep your job is not coercion.

So, to the bagman accused of skimming money off the bookie's receipts or from the local boss' protection money he's collected:

Stop stealing and we'll let you keep your fingers = no coercion.

Stop stealing or we'll cut your fingers off = coercion.
 
Oct 29, 2009
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Ninety5rpm, it's clear you believe an employer ought to be free to fire anyone at will. You might want it to be like that, but that's not what law and contracts stipulate in many cases, countries and even states. You are right in that it can apply to some jobs and situations, in some countries and states more than others, and you naturally keep circling back to that specific and more exceptional type of job for examples. When we are explicitly talking about an original situation in which there is a fixed term contract in place.

You also suggest several things I apparently have defined or said, when a closer reading of the actual words in addressed context, and certainly my text as a whole, ought to make it clear that I said no such thing. Don't inject additional nonsense and then refute that, missing my actual points completely. It is irritating. I did try to reflect your pov fairly when I paraphrased you and certainly addressed your key point at length and will do so again (that you think a contract can be ripped up by an employer without causing -legal- harm - hence there is no harm here). please respond in kind instead of trying to "out-gotcha" me.

Ninety5rpm said:
If you don't stand on your head without eating or drinking for a year, I won't give you a hundred dollars. By your definition that's threatening behavior that violates your rights.

If with your definition you mean: Coercing is the act of threatening a harmful consequence for a non complier/I], can you tell me in your example what the threat is? You aren't directing threat of harm against anything that is legally seen to be mine indeed. Thus you aren't actually threatening, just stating what you won't do. Hence by my definition you are not coercing as you fail to level a threat. We appear to agree that your example is indeed showing how silly the definition is. IF you misread my definition.

Saying you simply won't do something you have no obligation to do doesn't constitute a threat in any book.

But that is not the same as threatening to take away what I did have (a job contract for a fixed term). The context we were discussing.


If you hire John Doe to do some gardening in your yard, and then you find out your nephew Fred lost his job so you want to hire him instead, you should be able to fire John without explanation in order to hire Fred, since John's right to be your gardener is totally and completely subject to whether
you want to continue employing him.

Now, you owe any agreed amount for working already done, but you don't owe him employment tomorrow. So if you say "eat worms or I'll fire you" that's not threatening him with harm, since firing someone is not harming them in a way that violates their rights.

I keep coming back to this, but it is essential to the discussing, and you keep ignoring that particular point:

That, again, really depends on the prior agreement made. If you contracted him in for a specific job... no, you are not free to just lay him off for no good reason, if he was keeping up his end of the bargain.

You are breaking a contract if you do, and could even be liable to pay a compensation of sorts.

However, If you get have an agreement in place to get him over when needed for as long as you want or need him, or pay him day by day without a contract to complete a certain job, you probably are free to swap labour supplier as you haven't engaged into a fixed term or fixed job agreement with a second party (probably refers to the situation in the US - it isn't as clear cut in many other places on planet Earth).

Assuming there is an agreement with the gardener that a specific project was his to complete, your example matches this:

If you have signed a contract that you will buy 20 cars from a dealer, and you both agree he must deliver those in 10 days time, you cannot suddenly go on day 3, "oh well, I'll pay you for the 4 I already got, but I'm getting the rest from my brother instead". If the dealer is expected to be able to deliver all 20 by the agreed date, you will be bound to pay up, as per your own prior, and voluntary, agreement stipulates. You should have thought of that before signing any contracts or making a verbal agreement that fixes a specific trade as obligatory.

(verbal is also legal in most places, but notoriously hard to prove - so you would probably get away with breaking the law if you got someone to do an agreed job verbally but bailed out half way for no good reason).

If you don't come to a mutual agreement on how to handle that situation, where one party unilaterally tears up a contract made, courts/tribunals can settle it instead for you, and you will almost certainly be found in breach of contract. Expect to pay some additional money. How much depends on what is deemed reasonable.

I don't want to get off on this tangent, but I think the whole area of law that "protects" employees from unjustified firing is misguided - no employer should ever have to justify firing anyone for any reason, because no employee has a right to be employed tomorrow.

Yeah, it's pretty obvious what you think the law should be. But we were talking about what the actual laws are in most places.

Even in the US you can't just rip up a contract made when you feel like it. It's a mutual agreement, the most seriously and strictly governed mutual agreement you can enter in with another party.

If a contracted project doesn't get delivered to accepted terms, then a contractor can get redress. Likewise, if a guaranteed job arbitrarily gets terminated than the employee can get redress. Both parties have undertaken delivery obligations to the other party in an agreed exchange.

And "bizarrely", much as you dislike them, work contracts that give clear rights to the employer actually, frequently, protect the employee from coercion in the work place. You deny it all you want, but people often aren't free to "just quit". Which is why "or else your job" is often such an effective way to exert coercion.

I know what you are aiming for in your argumentation. But that's not how it is seen in courts. Objectively, yes, you are free. Subjectively, frequently, no. Subjectivity matters here, and is taken into account when judging if actual coercion has taken place.

Historically, the freer the employer to act on a personal whim, the more abusive work places have been. Proper enforcement of rights and insisting on base conditions have transformed the work place over the last century.

But, likewise, the employer can also be coerced by employees in certain situations, and that pendulum can also swing too far. (Note, under performing or refusing to perform is also a technical breach of contract, and might also trigger possible contract dissolvement, sometimes automatic).

Suggestions that you make, like "no coercions takes place in the work place as people can just quit" fly in the face of very busy courts dealing with many forms of work place coercion. From minor infractions to rape to false or ungrounded claims.

And usually the threat is not a gun to the head, but the actual option b) you gave: the loss of a job (or even simply withholding a promotion), etc. It works a treat as most people are terrified to lose their job! For good reasons.

Courts and laws acknowledge that, certainly in Europe, and increasingly in the US too it seems (with stricter enforcement of regulations already in place, and many laws alterations to address existing work place coercion more effectively too).

Funny how you think that that doesn't matter and even the US courts rule differently. Wonder who knows the laws that govern current rights and contracts best.
 
Oct 29, 2009
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[I am being coerced by forum code to cut my response in 2, or am I? :)]


Earlier I said

But it's bizarre to argue about "if it is coercion or not" when it's bloody obvious you are forced to do something [in your example] that is against your will [being told to clean toilets for 16 hours or lose your job, when that isn't part of your actual job description]. Something of yours is held hostage. A gun is pointed in both cases. In case b) it is not against your head, but at one of your direct personal interests, your work contract. Which is still against "legally yours" in another name.


to which you replied...

By that definition any time anyone does anything for pay - that they wouldn't do if they weren't paid - is coercion. By that definition garbage men are coerced to pick up garbage, nurses are coerced to take care of the sick, teachers are coerced to teach, programmers are coerced to write software, etc.

You have a point. IF those examples in any shape or form came anywhere near what I actually wrote or addressed. There is no definition for starters. All I did give was a direct response to a specific case that you proposed (edits made to clarify how, if that is needed).

To make it like your original example you would have to make it about trying to make the nurses pick up garbage, or teachers to take care of the sick, or else someone would just rip up their contracts, than it is similar to your original example and we can keep comparing apples to apples and can discuss things where what we write keeps its worth.

But I fail to see how you think what you offered is a fair reading and an example that reflects what i actually wrote (at length). Your point is totally mute here. And infuriatingly you used it to sidestep the actual objection I raised to a key point that you made. That you keep claiming that there is no harm in option b). I objected that the threat of harm is levelled at something that is yours in both your examples. You already backtracked on the c) one which was clearer. You avoided the response to this one by jumping on words I never uttered.

You know and I know that signing a work contract is (usually) a voluntary act. Doing the job in the contract for pay is the consequence of that free choice, thus remains a free choice. You don't like the job or you wouldn't do it home, so what? Tough. You signed. You tied yourself to it.


Oh, and there usually is no such things as "just quitting and walking away there and then and expect no consequences". You can quit, but would have to go back to that contract and uphold the terms for (early) dissolvement too or face the penalties stipulated in it, whatever they are (and/or what the general law of the land adds to it).

A new mutual agreement to dissolve would supersede any old terms in place about the state you leave your work behind in.

Unilaterally ripping up a contract has consequences for whichever party does it. Despite what some people think ought to be the case, both are bound by law. Employers are no holy food group that can act at will, neither are employees.

I can see us going in increasingly tighter circles that all revolve around your desire that existing employment laws would be different than what they are, and an underestimation of how existing work contracts are treated and valued by courts. Even in the US.


Re my comment about imaginary riders who were faced with a "doping" choice - you wrote:

They were all free to quit. Many did. They chose not to. That's not coercion. That's choice.

No, if it would come before a court that would be up to the court to decide, what it was, exactly. What others did when faced the same dope situation is also immaterial, if it is about coercion or not. Coercion is notoriously individual. What works against one doesn't work for another. Personal perception, behaviour, and circumstances are very important.

I'm not even suggesting that I think there was no a big factor of free choice in play if we are talking about dope in a lance Team, if there was dope used [cough]. And as time progressed "it was or became choice" will be increasingly easier to make plausible. But there is no rule anywhere that said "it was choice" without considering the specific circumstances of a case.

I don't know what it was. It depends. And I don't know enough detail. But we have methods to arrive at a verdict if it was or wasn't, if the issue arises. You sweep that system totally aside and decree the verdict that you prefer as right. I spot a pattern.

We have courts where that is actually settled by argumentation and weighing evidence on a case by case basis, if it comes up.

I'm glad that when the system is asked for a ruling, on the whole, it pays more attention to laws, employees' existing rights, and values contracts higher than you appear to do.
 
Jul 3, 2010
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Ninety5rpm said:
Agreed.

Losing a job is not a negative consequence, no matter how much it might feel like it.
Keeping a job is a positive consequence.
So doing something in order to keep your job is not doing something to avoid a negative consequence, but doing something to achieve a positive consequence. So doing something to keep your job is not coercion.

Only on planet ninety5rpm. Not in law, or given the reality of an imperfect labour market. Does workplace sexual harrasement really not exist in your mind?
 
May 23, 2010
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Tim_sleepless said:
Only on planet ninety5rpm. Not in law, or given the reality of an imperfect labour market. Does workplace sexual harrasement really not exist in your mind?

This thread should be renamed "The law according to ninety5rpm".

Whatever you write, ninety5rpm will respond with a counter-argument, which complies with his sense of how the laws should work.

ninety5rpm - if you don't like the laws as they're written, you can go argue your case to the Supreme Court. Until such time, the prosecutors have the leeway to use existing laws in the books to catch criminals - and as we have witnessed many times, if they feel you're guilty, they don't care what chapter of that book they catch you with.
 

Dr. Maserati

BANNED
Jun 19, 2009
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Tubeless said:
This thread should be renamed "The law according to ninety5rpm".

Whatever you write, ninety5rpm will respond with a counter-argument, which complies with his sense of how the laws should work.

ninety5rpm - if you don't like the laws as they're written, you can go argue your case to the Supreme Court. Until such time, the prosecutors have the leeway to use existing laws in the books to catch criminals - and as we have witnessed many times, if they feel you're guilty, they don't care what chapter of that book they catch you with.

I will go one further -and say it should be retitled: LawStrong.