And it gets weirder still.
According to a report by the celebrity news website TMZ, Harvey Weinstein, in his capacity as co-chairman of The Weinstein Company (TWC), was essentially permitted, by virtue of his employment contract, to engage in the sexual harassment behavior for which he has now become so well-known.
Although the employment agreement would certainly not protect Weinstein from any potential civil or criminal action initiated by an alleged victim or prosecuting authority, it seems to do a pretty good job of insulating him from job loss resulting from the very behavior that did see him get fired earlier in the week.
Which begs the awkward question: Does Harvey Weinstein actually have legitimate grounds to pursue a wrongful termination suit against TWC?
It sure looks that way.
Per TMZ’s analysis of the contract in question, should Weinstein be sued for sexual harassment, and that suit results in a judgment against TWC, he can keep his position as long as he personally pays whatever amount for which the company is on the hook, as well as an internally-assessed “fine.”
“According to the contract, if Weinstein ‘treated someone improperly in violation of the company’s Code of Conduct,’ he must reimburse TWC for settlements or judgments. Additionally, ‘You [Weinstein] will pay the company liquidated damages of $250,000 for the first such instance, $500,000 for the second such instance, $750,000 for the third such instance, and $1,000,000 for each additional instance.’
“The contract says as long as Weinstein pays, it constitutes a ‘cure’ for the misconduct and no further action can be taken.”
By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large