“Judges rejected a bid from unpaid bloggers at the Huffington Post to revive a lawsuit against AOL that contends the company should pay them a third of the $315 million it spent last year to buy the news site.” [Alexander Kaufman, The Wrap] “The problem with plaintiffs’ argument is that it has no basis,” observed the Second Circuit. [Politico, earlier here, here, etc.]
The California legislature this term chose to pass a raft of exceptionally bad legislation burdening business and employers, and Gov. Jerry Brown, perhaps mindful of the state’s ongoing poor economic performance, last week vetoed many of them [Ira Stoll, NY Sun; Steven Greenhut, City Journal] Among the vetoes: bills widening the rights of housekeepers’, babysitters’ and other domestic workers to sue their employers [earlier here, here]; greatly widening the survivors’ benefits paid for public safety workers [earlier, update]; unionizing grad student research assistants [Daily Californian] and an ostensible farmworker safety measure [Ruth Evans, Fresno Bee]
P.S. “Starts” isn’t really accurate, since, as David Boaz has pointed out, Gov. Brown cast some good vetoes last year.
Relating to not counting class members until they’re hatched: “Lawyer: 4 — not 3,000 — interns have joined class action suit against Hearst” [Andrew Beaujon, Poynter; Joe Lustig with more on court's greenlighting of Hearst intern suit; more, Amy Traub and Desiree Busching at Wage Hour Law; lawyers trying similar action against Fox]
Why “we recently were forced to institute an HR policy in California that working through lunch is a firing offense.” [Coyote]
At Fortune, Jonathan Segal (Duane Morris) covers an employment-law trend much documented in these columns, though the “civil rights” construct is a bit of a distraction: the intersection of entrepreneurial lawyers, high damage possibilities, uncertain legal standards and widespread real or apparent noncompliance is enough to propel the Fair Labor Standards Act into its current prominence without any need for a discrimination angle.
Jon Hyman is surprised the number isn’t 100 percent:
What’s amazing to me is that the percentage of non-compliant employers is only 71 percent. I remain convinced, as I’ve pointed out before, that I can walk into any company and find a wage and hour violation. The FLSA and its regulations are that complex, twisted, and anachronistic.
Gee, thanks, lawsuit-filers: “Internships can be the key to the start of a successful career, but the positions are getting harder to find because a lot of employers are now nervous to offer them.” [KHOU] A New York attorney has filed a much-publicized series of suits seeking class action status to represent unpaid interns at organizations including Harper’s Bazaar magazine and the Charlie Rose show. [Atlantic Wire]
Relatedly or otherwise, a federal judge has dismissed the class action filed by social activist Jonathan Tasini alleging that the Huffington Post was violating the rights of its unpaid bloggers by basing a profitable media platform on their work. [Reuters, AP]
New York’s notoriously stringent Department of Labor has fined a pizza shop owner $5,535 for not giving his employees enough polo shirts to wear — at least five for those who work five days a week, even if they work only a few hours a day. Owner Christian King
was told that an appeal would take years due to the backlog and the fine would accrue with interest….
“What happened to him is not unusual,” agreed Richard De Groot, a Syracuse consultant who advises businesses — including King’s — on human resource issues. He represents employers across much of the Eastern Seaboard and says New York is unusually demanding.
“There is so much in the way of state rules and laws,” he said, adding that he would advise some businesses, such as manufacturers, to simply look to elsewhere.
[Albany TImes-Union via Stoll]
It makes no seeming sense unless you’re aware of the grim legalities for employers whose “nonexempt” employees work off the clock [Richard Bales/Workplace Prof, BoingBoing, ABC "Good Morning America"]