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Author Topic:   Corporatocracy Wins Again
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 58 (744422)
12-11-2014 12:29 AM


Is something your employer requires you to do as part of your job something you should get paid for?

In the United Coporatocracy of America, the answer is 'no':

quote:
"Workers at Amazon Warehouses Won't Get Paid for Waiting in Security Lines" from Bloomberg Businessweek Technology:

All nine justices sided with an Amazon.com [that] [c]ompanies that make their workers go through security screenings before they can go home don’t have to pay them for the time they spend waiting in line to be checked.


So what's next? We hope for increases to minimum wage, but is that even likely in the current atmosphere of corporations running the government?

What can stop this?

The current budget bill going through the Congress is set to make campaign contribution rules even looser.

Are we too far gone? Is there any hope? What can the average concerned citizen do?


Love your enemies!

Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by Minnemooseus, posted 12-11-2014 12:53 AM Jon has not yet responded
 Message 3 by New Cat's Eye, posted 12-11-2014 10:20 AM Jon has responded

  
Minnemooseus
Member
Posts: 3754
From: Duluth, Minnesota, U.S. (West end of Lake Superior)
Joined: 11-11-2001
Member Rating: 3.7


(1)
Message 2 of 58 (744423)
12-11-2014 12:53 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jon
12-11-2014 12:29 AM


Amazon makes Walmart look benevolent
I was reading a Jim Hightower long article a while back about how ugly is it to work in an Amazon.com warehouse.

The online version.

Moose


Professor, geology, Whatsamatta U
Evolution - Changes in the environment, caused by the interactions of the components of the environment.

"Do not meddle in the affairs of cats, for they are subtle and will piss on your computer." - Bruce Graham

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." - John Kenneth Galbraith

"Yesterday on Fox News, commentator Glenn Beck said that he believes President Obama is a racist. To be fair, every time you watch Glenn Beck, it does get a little easier to hate white people." - Conan O'Brien

"I know a little about a lot of things, and a lot about a few things, but I'm highly ignorant about everything." - Moose


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Jon, posted 12-11-2014 12:29 AM Jon has not yet responded

    
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 3 of 58 (744457)
12-11-2014 10:20 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jon
12-11-2014 12:29 AM


Is something your employer requires you to do as part of your job something you should get paid for?

No, not necessarily.

For example: Commuting to the office. Owning collared shirts. Keeping my appearance presentable.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Jon, posted 12-11-2014 12:29 AM Jon has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by Jon, posted 12-11-2014 2:41 PM New Cat's Eye has responded
 Message 15 by NoNukes, posted 12-14-2014 9:03 PM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded

  
Jon
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 4 of 58 (744487)
12-11-2014 2:41 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by New Cat's Eye
12-11-2014 10:20 AM


For example: Commuting to the office. Owning collared shirts. Keeping my appearance presentable.

Those aren't much like waiting in line to leave the workplace while your employer searches you and your possessions.

What you've listed are all things that are required from anyone who has any job. Since those things are basic responsibilities of employed people, and since the employer has no control over how you do them, it is reasonable that the employer should not be expected to compensate you directly for these things.

But waiting in line to be screened after your shift? That is something that is not a part of every job, and it is a process over which the employer not only has direct control but from which the employer solely benefits (I often stop off at places on my way from work; the clothes I wear at work are the same ones I wear everywhere else; I keep my appearances nice because I don't like being a slob; but I'd go through a theft screening every day after work only for my employer's sake—because they told me to).

A large part of the complaint related to the amount of time employees spend waiting to be checked; to keep costs low, the warehouses employed as few screeners as possible and forced their employees to wait upwards of 20 minutes just to leave work. They could hire more screeners to get people out faster, but that would cost more money. And the money they save is at the expense of their employees' time.

It's theft. It's slavery. It's wrong.


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by New Cat's Eye, posted 12-11-2014 10:20 AM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by New Cat's Eye, posted 12-11-2014 3:30 PM Jon has responded
 Message 14 by ringo, posted 12-12-2014 11:01 AM Jon has not yet responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 5 of 58 (744500)
12-11-2014 3:30 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Jon
12-11-2014 2:41 PM


What you've listed are all things that are required from anyone who has any job.

No, some people work from home and our plant workers can work in a T-shirt.

But waiting in line to be screened after your shift?

Well, legally they don't have to pay them for it.

But I do agree that it sucks for the worker.

It's theft. It's slavery. It's wrong.

Then don't work there.

When they can't find employees they'll change their game.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Jon, posted 12-11-2014 2:41 PM Jon has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by Jon, posted 12-11-2014 4:22 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
Jon
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 6 of 58 (744511)
12-11-2014 4:22 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by New Cat's Eye
12-11-2014 3:30 PM


No, some people work from home and our plant workers can work in a T-shirt.

Exactly. The employer doesn't determine how far away someone lives from their work place, so they should naturally not be required to compensate people for their commute.

Then don't work there.

Easier said than done.

When they can't find employees they'll change their game.

Follow Moose's link. Amazon has no problems finding employees; not because people are excited to work there, but because they are desperate to.


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by New Cat's Eye, posted 12-11-2014 3:30 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by New Cat's Eye, posted 12-11-2014 5:14 PM Jon has responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 7 of 58 (744520)
12-11-2014 5:14 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Jon
12-11-2014 4:22 PM


The employer doesn't determine how far away someone lives from their work place, so they should naturally not be required to compensate people for their commute.

Is this just an emotional argument, or are you talking about the law?

'Cause the law says that the company is only required to pay you for the intrinsic elements of your job.

Amazon has no problems finding employees; not because people are excited to work there, but because they are desperate to.

If you're taking a job out of desperation, should you really be surprised to be exploited?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Jon, posted 12-11-2014 4:22 PM Jon has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by Rahvin, posted 12-11-2014 7:06 PM New Cat's Eye has responded
 Message 9 by Jon, posted 12-11-2014 9:47 PM New Cat's Eye has responded
 Message 10 by xongsmith, posted 12-11-2014 10:09 PM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded

  
Rahvin
Member
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


(2)
Message 8 of 58 (744525)
12-11-2014 7:06 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by New Cat's Eye
12-11-2014 5:14 PM


If you're taking a job out of desperation, should you really be surprised to be exploited?

By that reasoning we shouldn't bother with any sort of employment law at all. You're saying exploitation is absolutely fine.

Is this just an emotional argument, or are you talking about the law?

I think we all understand that the courts have found that this treatment is legal.

I think the purpose of discussion is whether it should be legal.

How do we determine what is or is not exploitation? How do we determine what employment practices are or are not abusive? How do we decide what we should legislate, and what we should leave to the market?

Imagine this topic was actually about child labor, and that kids as young as 8 were being made to work in dangerous, gruelling factory work for 12+ hours at a time, and still earning a wage below sustenance. Is that okay because they took the job "out of desperation," and they should just expect to be exploited?

Certainly in that case our society has decided that such treatment of workers should flatly not be allowed under any circumstances, regardless of how desperate the employees are for work.

How do we find the line between what we should ban, like child labor, and what we should not ban?

I don't think that's an emotional topic necessarily. I think it's about ethics in the workplace.

I think today's society requires employment to the point that "find another job," while good advice, is not necessarily a good solution. Certainly if you're getting by but you'd like more money, "find a better job" is perfectly acceptable. But if a practice crosses the line into exploitation, I think "find a better job" is just patronizing and refusing to deal with an ethical dilemma.

I remember a case a few years back where Walmart was locking in employees overnight. They were not allowed to leave, and physically prevented from doing so - not just on pain of losing their jobs, they physically could not leave the building regardless of reason, even in case of sick children. There was a class action lawsuit, and the employees won. My ex-wife worked for Walmart at the time and was herself locked in.

Personally I'm not a fan of involuntary searches. I don't even like having my bags checked when I walk out of Best Buy...so I usually just don't shop at Best Buy. I don't think employers should be allowed to force all employees to submit to an exit search on threat of job loss - today's society requires employment, so such requirements are absolutely coercion. If the employer has a reasonable suspicion that a particular employee is in possession of stolen goods then by all means...but I find general search requirements for all employees to be horrifically invasive.

That doesn't even touch on the issue of pay while waiting in line for the search; I don't think the searches themselves should be okay. It's an invasion of privacy, and the fact that it's your employer rather than law enforcement isn't ethically any different to me. I'm well aware that the law today doesn't treat them the same, but I'd happily support a law or a legal precedent that ensures employees have the same privacy rights at work with their bodies and personal property as they have when dealing with the police.

As for the pay...again I understand that the law right now apparently allows for this to be unpaid time. But hourly employees are exchanging their hours for money. It's already legally required to pay employees who are on call if they're required to be within a certain distance of the office and respond within a certain amount of time. I don;t see how this is terribly different. I see it as a legal loophole that needs to be closed. If you require your employee to be present on work premises, hourly employees must be paid for that time, period. If they're free to go without risk of losing their jobs, then their presence is optional and they don;t need to be paid. I think the criteria of "required" vs "optional" and "on premises" vs "able to go where you choose" are the appropriate variables to determine whether an hourly employee who typically works at a specific employer-designated location needs to be paid for their time.


“The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion (either as being the received opinion or as being agreeable to itself) draws all things else to support and agree with it.” - Francis Bacon

"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs." - John Rogers

“A world that can be explained even with bad reasons is a familiar world. But, on the other hand, in a universe suddenly divested of illusions and lights, man feels an alien, a stranger. His exile is without remedy since he is deprived of the memory of a lost home or the hope of a promised land. This divorce between man and his life, the actor and his setting, is properly the feeling of absurdity.” – Albert Camus

"...the pious hope that by combining numerous little turds of variously tainted data, one can obtain a valuable result; but in fact, the outcome is merely a larger than average pile of shit." - Barash, David 1995...

"Many that live deserve death. And some die that deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then be not too eager to deal out death in the name of justice, fearing for your own safety. Even the wise cannot see all ends." - Gandalf, J. R. R. Tolkien: The Lord Of the Rings

Nihil supernum


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by New Cat's Eye, posted 12-11-2014 5:14 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
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 Message 12 by New Cat's Eye, posted 12-12-2014 10:09 AM Rahvin has not yet responded

  
Jon
Inactive Member


(2)
Message 9 of 58 (744531)
12-11-2014 9:47 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by New Cat's Eye
12-11-2014 5:14 PM


The employer doesn't determine how far away someone lives from their work place, so they should naturally not be required to compensate people for their commute.

Is this just an emotional argument, or are you talking about the law?

'Cause the law says that the company is only required to pay you for the intrinsic elements of your job.

Laws can be wrong. And they can be changed.

If you're taking a job out of desperation, should you really be surprised to be exploited?

The slaves only picked faster out of desperation to not be whipped.

In a developed 21st century society, I think it is a reasonable expectation that people not be exploited or taken advantage of by the rich and powerful.


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by New Cat's Eye, posted 12-11-2014 5:14 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by New Cat's Eye, posted 12-12-2014 10:11 AM Jon has not yet responded

  
xongsmith
Member
Posts: 1898
From: massachusetts US
Joined: 01-01-2009
Member Rating: 6.8


(3)
Message 10 of 58 (744533)
12-11-2014 10:09 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by New Cat's Eye
12-11-2014 5:14 PM


Cat's eye asks:

If you're taking a job out of desperation, should you really be surprised to be exploited?

Maybe not surprised, but indignant? HELL YES.


- xongsmith, 5.7d

This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by New Cat's Eye, posted 12-11-2014 5:14 PM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded

    
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 11 of 58 (744553)
12-12-2014 9:29 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by Rahvin
12-11-2014 7:06 PM


I don;t see how this is terribly different. I see it as a legal loophole that needs to be closed. If you require your employee to be present on work premises, hourly employees must be paid for that time, period. If they're free to go without risk of losing their jobs, then their presence is optional and they don;t need to be paid. I think the criteria of "required" vs "optional" and "on premises" vs "able to go where you choose" are the appropriate variables to determine whether an hourly employee who typically works at a specific employer-designated location needs to be paid for their time.

I wonder how the McDonald's cases will play out.

There are similarities with being clocked out but forced to remain on premises. The only difference I can see is that the McDonald's employees were 'on call' while the Amazon warehouse workers were not. If it is found that the McDonald's workers have a case and are successful in court, one will have to wonder how it is not okay for McDonald's employees to be on unpaid call, but apparently just find for employees at Amazon's warehouses to be unpaid while being forcibly detained in a line waiting to have their 4th Amendment rights violated.


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Rahvin, posted 12-11-2014 7:06 PM Rahvin has not yet responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 12 of 58 (744554)
12-12-2014 10:09 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by Rahvin
12-11-2014 7:06 PM


By that reasoning we shouldn't bother with any sort of employment law at all. You're saying exploitation is absolutely fine.

I actually looked up the word exploit before submitting it.

quote:
ex·ploit
verb
ikˈsploit/
1.
make full use of and derive benefit from (a resource)

So yeah, I expect companies to make full use of and derive benefit from their hourly workers. But I don't think that means that we don't need any employment law at all.

I think we all understand that the courts have found that this treatment is legal.

I think the purpose of discussion is whether it should be legal.

My position on that matter is that it should be legal, but the employer should pay the people anyways.

If they refuse, I don't think we should force them to. Instead, people should stop working there and buying from them.

How do we determine what is or is not exploitation? How do we determine what employment practices are or are not abusive? How do we decide what we should legislate, and what we should leave to the market?

I honestly don't know. I'll have to default to looking it up in my gut

Imagine this topic was actually about child labor, and that kids as young as 8 were being made to work in dangerous, gruelling factory work for 12+ hours at a time, and still earning a wage below sustenance. Is that okay because they took the job "out of desperation," and they should just expect to be exploited?

They shouldn't be forced to work at all. But if they want to I don't have a problem letting them.

I took my first job at 14 years old. After scouring the neighborhood for lawns to cut and that not panning out, I learned that the minimum age of 16 years old for employment was not applicable to farms. Turns out, since your just a kid working on a farm, they can pay you less than minimum wage. I took the job and was happy to be earning my own money. And it wasn't easy... we were suckering horseradish. (did you know the horseradish capital of the world is right outside of st louis?)

Certainly in that case our society has decided that such treatment of workers should flatly not be allowed under any circumstances, regardless of how desperate the employees are for work.

How do we find the line between what we should ban, like child labor, and what we should not ban?

In that case, the ban should be on forced labor.

I don't have a problem allowing children to work, but that gets a little slippery because they often end up being forced into it.

I don't think that's an emotional topic necessarily. I think it's about ethics in the workplace.

Perhaps "emotional" was poor word choice, I just meant something other than the legal argument, because that one was pretty much settled.

I think today's society requires employment to the point that "find another job," while good advice, is not necessarily a good solution. Certainly if you're getting by but you'd like more money, "find a better job" is perfectly acceptable. But if a practice crosses the line into exploitation, I think "find a better job" is just patronizing and refusing to deal with an ethical dilemma.

Maybe. I honestly don't really care about these people.

I remember a case a few years back where Walmart was locking in employees overnight. They were not allowed to leave, and physically prevented from doing so - not just on pain of losing their jobs, they physically could not leave the building regardless of reason, even in case of sick children. There was a class action lawsuit, and the employees won. My ex-wife worked for Walmart at the time and was herself locked in.

Wow, if they tried to lock me in the I would call the police.

I worked at Walmart for two weeks when I was 16. I quit because the managers would sneak around and follow you and make sure you were working hard - like peeking through shelves and spying on you n'shit.

I thought that was bullshit so I walked out on them. Moved on to making pizzas.

Personally I'm not a fan of involuntary searches. I don't even like having my bags checked when I walk out of Best Buy...so I usually just don't shop at Best Buy. I don't think employers should be allowed to force all employees to submit to an exit search on threat of job loss - today's society requires employment, so such requirements are absolutely coercion. If the employer has a reasonable suspicion that a particular employee is in possession of stolen goods then by all means...but I find general search requirements for all employees to be horrifically invasive.

I wonder how much theft they dealt with before they implemented this system.

I see it as a legal loophole that needs to be closed. If you require your employee to be present on work premises, hourly employees must be paid for that time, period.

I worked in a factory one summer while I was in college.

I'd show up at the place, go into the locker room and put on the uniform. Then walk over to the plant and then clock in and get to work.

When the shift was over, first we would clock out. Then we'd go back to the locker room where we'd have to shower because you got really dirty in the plant.

I'd spend about an hour there every day that I didn't get paid for.

I didn't see a legal loophole that needs to be closed then, and I don't see one now.

I think the criteria of "required" vs "optional" and "on premises" vs "able to go where you choose" are the appropriate variables to determine whether an hourly employee who typically works at a specific employer-designated location needs to be paid for their time.

I agree that Amazon ought to pay them, but I don't think they should be legally required.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Rahvin, posted 12-11-2014 7:06 PM Rahvin has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by NoNukes, posted 12-14-2014 9:10 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 13 of 58 (744555)
12-12-2014 10:11 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by Jon
12-11-2014 9:47 PM


The slaves only picked faster out of desperation to not be whipped.

They also didn't have the choice to quit.

In a developed 21st century society, I think it is a reasonable expectation that people not be exploited or taken advantage of by the rich and powerful.

What, you think they're just gonna roll over and give you money?

Don't be so naive.

Nobody is going to give you anything. You have to go out and get it for yourself.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by Jon, posted 12-11-2014 9:47 PM Jon has not yet responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 17292
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 14 of 58 (744557)
12-12-2014 11:01 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Jon
12-11-2014 2:41 PM


Jon writes:

... it is a process over which the employer not only has direct control but from which the employer solely benefits....


If your employer loses money, e.g. from theft by employees, that's less money he has for paying you. The screening benefits the employee just the same as screening for counterfeit money benefits the consumer.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Jon, posted 12-11-2014 2:41 PM Jon has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 17 by NoNukes, posted 12-14-2014 9:15 PM ringo has responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 15 of 58 (744702)
12-14-2014 9:03 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by New Cat's Eye
12-11-2014 10:20 AM


For example: Commuting to the office. Owning collared shirts. Keeping my appearance presentable.

I think the current ruling is about a completely different circumstance. When the end of day whistle blows, the employees rightfully want to begin their commute home.

The employer is insisting that they instead remain at work and spend time off the clock to prove that they are not thieves. The amount of time required is solely a function of the resources that the employer devotes to the issue. It is absolutely bizarre that the screening function takes up any substantial time and is uncompensated. I've never encountered anything like that at any job.

Is there any limit to this kind of checking that you would find beyond reasonable?


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. Galileo Galilei

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by New Cat's Eye, posted 12-11-2014 10:20 AM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded

  
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