Is Scott Rudin the next Harvey Weinstein? 5 ways the Rudin situation follows the workplace abuse playbook

This month, Hollywood and Broadway are pulling back the curtain on what's really going on behind closed doors when it comes to worker dignity. And producer Scott Rudin, the name behind "The Social Network" and "No Country For Old Men," is the next mogul to fall from (some) power thanks to collective action — in this case, workers reporting their stories to the media and literally taking to the streets in solidarity in April 22's March on Broadway.

The story broke on April 7 with Tatiana Siegel's "Everyone Just Knows He's An Absolute Monster": Scott Rudin's Ex-Staffers Speak Out on Abusive Behavior" from The Hollywood Reporter. As the silence continued to break, and unions demanded action, Rudin eventually apologized.

But advocates demanded more than lip service. They demanded consequences. They demanded that those who've stayed silent for too long stand up to this behavior to save lives.

Finally on April 17 and April 21, Rudin announced he'll no longer be an active...

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How the legal system favors privileged groups

Those with legal representation (aka money) are most likely to have successful case outcomes. “Plaintiffs who do not have a lawyer [“one in four plaintiffs”] have their cases dismissed at a 40% rate compared to 11% for plaintiffs with lawyers,” say the authors of Rights on Trial. More privileged social groups obtain better results, ironic in an area of law intended to protect disadvantaged groups. Case dismissals often result from plaintiff misunderstandings (read: no education from a lawyer) and can cost plaintiffs court fees. Plaintiffs can also lose on settlement or all counts of summary judgment, when the defendant argues that there is no material issue of fact to be decided on and aggressively sets a deadline.

Settlement is the most common outcome of cases “with an estimated median of $30,000. Plaintiffs win something 60% of the time,” the authors say. Trials are rare and “return a victory for the plaintiff one time in three,”...

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Do unions help targets of workplace abuse?

Unions can play a significant role in advocating for workers through collective bargaining agreements.

Yet with a focus on collective action rather than individual action and potentially fragile relationships with employers based on years of negotiating, targets can't always look to their unions for support. What's more: abusers may also be members of the same union, and there are varying degrees of effectiveness across unions — factors that often leave targets with as much faith in their unions as HR.

Ultimately, employers can move their businesses outside the U.S., leaving unions with less leverage than targets hope for. 


Take Your Dignity Back
If you feel like you’re stuck in a big rut that’s destroying your life, learn how to reverse the damage. 

Right now, you wish you could just tell your bully at work to knock it off, report the problem to management, and show the bully how childish he or she’s behaving. At best, the...

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