Lawsuit: Man fired for not taking clients to strip clubs
November 16, 2012 (HOUSTON) -- Sex, topless dancers and steel -- a lawsuit has now been filed against a metal company in Houston because of what a former employee claims his boss wanted him to do for clients. The worker claims his boss told him to take clients to strip clubs and even hire prostitutes. He claims when he refused to follow those directions, he was fired.
Michael Vackar's history with steel sales dates back 30 years. But just nine weeks into his job at Superior Supply and Steel, he says they asked him to break the law.
"Specifically he was told to take his customers to gentleman's establishments in Houston and get the ladies, dancers at the clubs, to perform sexual acts on his customers," said John Ghezzi, Vackar's attorney.
A lawsuit filed Wednesday plainly lays out the dirty details. Vackar says he was instructed "to take existing and potential customers to strip clubs to obtain sexual favors from ladies working as 'dancers' at the clubs." And more specifically, to "solicit sexual favors for his customers from prostitutes"
It adds Vackar's direct supervisor -- named in the lawsuit -- mentioned on multiple occasions, "Once you bring a customer to a place that has cameras, you have a customer for life."
Ghezzi calls that implied blackmail.
"Once you get a man on camera and you can get a copy of that, you can rest assured that he's going to be fearful if he doesn't remain your customer or become your customer," Ghezzi said.
Ghezzi says his client never complied, despite repeated requests from his supervisor. And in March, Vackar was fired after fighting back.
"He was fired for... falsifying expense reports, or seeking to be reimbursed for things that you weren't entitled to," Ghezzi said. "That proved to be a smokescreen."
Houston legal analyst Joel Androphy said that, compelling details aside, Vackar's will be a tough case to prove.
"They may say, on prior occasions the company asked us to do this," Androphy explained. "That has some degree of relevancy. But if you depose the stripper and depose the customer, I promise you they'll deny it, because otherwise they'd be admitting to a crime."
Still, Vackar and his attorney believe they have a chance and say the truth about Superior Supply's management practices will come out in court.
"I certainly intend to find out if Mr. Kotcher has adopted this immoral sales strategy, but he did it here," Ghezzi said. "It's inappropriate and this company should have to answer for that."
An attorney for Superior Supply emailed a statement that reads, in part, "The lawsuit is meritless and without factual basis. Superior Supply and Steel maintains a strict policy against the conduct alleged in the lawsuit, and Superior Supply and Steel is confident that it will prevail."
national/world, sonia azad
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