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September 15, 2018

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According to the associated press "A union representing Ramasar and Catarazo said it would challenge the firings."

Has anyone heard if the accuser has gone to the police? I find it difficult to believe that anyone would not want to bring the allegations to a criminal proceeding.

Catazaro might be fighting his termination, since AGMA seems to be involved.

It does sound like AGMA will file grievances on behalf of the dancers, and quite possibly will take aim at the so-called "norms of conduct" claimed by NYCB. The terminations of Catazaro and Ramasar with their NYCB-ascribed connection to Finlay's behavior will completely destroy Catazaro's and Ramasar's livelihoods. NYCB had better be sure of what they are doing and that they're not just responding to Bouder's (or anyone else's) feminist jingoism or engaging in over-the-top CYA for their defense lawyers' benefit.

I imagine that this decision (or strong recommendation) came from the Board based on appropriate legal consultation. This oversight (legal and financial) is one of the Board's key responsibilities and I would hope their recommendation or decision would be based on solid grounds.

It's going to be an interesting case to follow. I'm anxious to hear Catazaro's and Ramasar's complete versions of the facts. I'd like to know just how far NYCB has gone in trying to control an employee's private communications. Whenever I hear some vague term like "norms of conduct" in a disciplinary action, red flags appear. If employees are using their phones to email/text during work hours and there is no rule against it, then the employer has basically given them permission to conduct legal personal/private business while at work. That doesn't mean that the employer has control or may supervise the private communications -- unless company computers/phones are used. Nor does it mean that the legal personal/private communications have to meet some conduct norm. The simple private sharing via email during work hours of a commercially available music file of rap lyrics that are typically vulgar, racist, misogynistic and advocate violence could conceivably get an employee into trouble because the lyrics violate some vague norms of conduct. Where does one draw the line? As far as maintaining authority over an employee's off-work legal communications, just fuhgeddaboudit.

Meanwhile, I'm anxiously awaiting to see if Ms. Waterbury will file a police report. Her goal of changing things at NYCB might be admirable but it will do absolutely nothing as far as stopping the accused former boyfriend from committing the same alleged crimes against another woman. The only thing that will stop that is a criminal investigation. I hope that Ms. Waterbury isn't so focused on her celebrated mission against NYCB that she forgets that an alleged criminal is still wandering free and could potentially prey on another alleged victim. She should go to the police. If she doesn't want to, she should explain why.

Remember that a private employer can fire anyone (without a contract) "at will" for any reason except those protected by anti-discrimination laws. If the employee has a contract, it usually specifies (sometimes in broad terms) the grounds for termination. So a term like "norms of conduct" might ultimately be defined by a jury in a civil suit for unjust termination.

I tend to think that Catazaro's and Ramasar's only recourse is to have AGMA file grievances. If those fail, it may be that the only other thing that AGMA can do is go through binding arbitration where a judge decides as opposed to a jury.

One thing for certain about employer norms or codes of conduct is that they are anything but certain. These two guys are allegedly being canned by NYCB for private emails. A few months ago, the New York Times defended its right to retain a reporter who admitted to sexual misconduct, and just recently defended its judgment to hire for its editorial board a person who proudly published racist, gender-based hate Tweets. Both unionized companies use the same labor lawyers. Go figure.

Good point, which illustrates the degree of flexibility that employers have in these matters. Whether or not you believe the NYT was making a moral judgment, it certainly gauged the effect it would have on its customers and obviously felt it would not be significantly negative. NYCB, on the other hand, may have been adhering to its own moral standards, but, again, looked at the impact it might have had on its audience and felt it could be too much of a problem.

Not to belittle the gravity of the alleged accusations but my initial take-away from this latest communication from NYCB is “keep the donations rolling in!” So mere suspensions of Catazaro and Ramasar were OK three weeks ago but they’ve suddenly turned to firings?

It goes beyond firings. What NYCB has done because of the manner in which they chose to act is to completely destroy the livelihoods of these two dancers. They have publicly cast aspersions on their characters without revealing virtually any facts. It looks of course like a lot CYA to make the lawyers' job easier.

Even if there is a published rule or,policy on conduct/communications if nycb failed to take punitive action against others in the past thereby condoning a practice ...the practice will be the measurement norm not a policy. I imagine whatever “it”is has gone on for years unenforced. So I see nycb as the failure. Not the terminated dancers. And I never liked the feminist’s dancing or appearance anyway.

Or it may be part of a strategy to temporarily get the two of them out of the way while the company deals with its defense in the Waterbury suit. They may be planning on AGMA filing grievances & arbitration (which could take several months or longer) and they may expect to lose. In the meantime, however, the company can say, "Look, we cleaned house! #WeToo"

I also have been wondering to what extent the so-called "Nisian" photos might be involved here in regards to pictures of other dancers being distributed. Many ballerinas at NYCB and ABT seem to line up for the privilege of taking their clothes off for him with the idea of getting provocative professional shots. Are these women so naive as to think that he's not snapping pictures while they're setting up for a shoot or snapping at an angle that they don't know about? Are these women so naive as to think that he's not sharing the provocative out-takes that they perhaps didn't see? I really wonder to what extent his work might be involved in this situation. I'm speculating here, of course.

Hello Haglund, you bring up a really interesting point in that last paragraph. Two other photographers that immediately come to mind, who photograph similar subject matter, are Howard Schatz and Jordan Matter. You don't have to go too far into their portfolios to find unclothed dancers.

Haglund, I like your observations and it seems that Nisian has deleted many of his provocative shots.

I've never understood why some women at NYCB and ABT seemed compelled to expose themselves to him or anyone else. Are they really starved for that type of attention?

Sadly, everything extreme contributes to one more like. Normalcy (in every perspective) does not do that these days anymore.

The more that I hear from Miss Waterbury via her attorney, the more I hope NYCB will not even consider tossing the many donors' hard earned money at her until ALL of the facts and alleged ugliness has been uncovered and NYCB's responsibility has been ascertained.

Where did these guys get the pictures of the other dancers if they did indeed get them? If they got them from the so-called Nisian or another photographer, I have no sympathy for the women at all -- not an ounce. Balletomanes have been complaining about their debasing of the art form since they started this I-Gram rage of peddling their meat.

Further, I would be curious to know if Miss Waterbury ever posed for this guy, too.

For the protection of the art form, we need all of the facts and all of the information.

I can't help wonder why Miss Waterbury's attorney did not include as defendants both the Koch Theater where this stuff allegedly took place and the City of New York which owns it. My guess is that perhaps he suspects that he might lose all of his change in the Koch machine and never get it back.

Hello Haglund: I love your blog. Yes, Ms. Waterbury did pose for Nisian: https://www.instagram.com/p/BjfAzhEAkXG/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link


Indeed, Juliet, thank you. And here it seems she went topless for him: https://www.instagram.com/p/BXtkzd8hjoW/?taken-by=alexandra_waterbury and https://www.instagram.com/p/BXtkzd8hjoW/?taken-by=alexandra_waterbury and presented herself as thong candy: https://www.instagram.com/p/BcWBUnoBaV6/?taken-by=alexandra_waterbury

It doesn't affect the wrongness of any crimes that may have been committed against her, but if I were on the jury, it would impact for me the extent of her emotional blah blah blah hurt. And if any of the objectionable photos circulated were from a shoot with this Nisian, I'd say she should have known better.

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