In this '80s comedy film, Judy Bernly (Jane Fonda) seeks a fresh start after her husband leaves her for his secretary. Judy's journey leads her to a new job at Consolidated Companies, where she is hired to work under Frank Hart (Dabney Coleman). Frank constantly flirts with his secretary, Doralee Rhodes (Dolly Parton), who isn't keen on his advances, and he even spreads rumors that he and Doralee had an affair, leading the staff to shun her. As described several times throughout the movie, Frank is a "sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot."
In the film, Frank supervises Judy, Doralee, and Violet (Lily Tomlin) and refers to the women as his "girls." Frank uses another employee, Roz (Elizabeth Wilson), who is unfailingly loyal to him, as a corporate spy. He assumes credit for Violet's ideas and tries to embezzle money from the company. The movie, originally Fonda's idea, was supposed to be a drama inspired by her friend who, at the time, had recently started a 9-to-5 job in Boston.