- Posner smacks lawyers, vindicates objectors in Radio Shack coupon settlement [CCAF, Fisher, more]
- “Germany To Consider Ban On Late-Night Work Emails” [Alexander Kaufman, Huffington Post]
- 7th Circuit overturns Wisconsin John Doe ruling, sends back to state judges [Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, ruling; more, Vox] John Doe case prosecutor John Chisholm, via columnist Dan Bice, strikes back against source in office who talked to Stuart Taylor, Jr. [Taylor, Althouse]
- Trial lawyer/massive Democratic donor Steve Mostyn also dabbles in Texas Republican primaries [Robert T. Garrett, Dallas Morning News; Mostyn’s national spending from Florida and Arizona to New Hampshire and Minnesota]
- Sad: immigration lawyer known for Iraqi Christian advocacy faces asylum fraud charges [Chicago Tribune]
- Might have been entertaining had Bruce Braley opponent Joni Ernst in Iowa argued in favor of nullification, but that’s not what evidence shows [Ramesh Ponnuru]
- California hobbles insurers with diverse-procurement regulations [Ian Adams, Insurance Journal]
Volunteers serve in National Parks around the country without ever being paid for their labor.
Why does the government encourage people to labor without pay for some activities and not others? …
We think that volunteering is noble, rewarding and educational independent of whether the cause is “for profit” or not.
Our issue is not with volunteering.
The issue is what right does the government have in saying where a free citizen of this country can donate his or her time and efforts to?
If you have a friend who is starting a business and you want to help him succeed, why can’t you volunteer your time, efforts and expertise? If a neighbor wants to build and extension onto their offices and you donate a set of architectural or engineering plans because that is your area of expertise. what right does the government have to say “you can’t do that?” If you design web pages and do some work on a web page for a fellow parishioner at your church, what concern is that of the government? How many small businesses have “friends” who donate time to repair or maintain the business’ computers?
The bottom line is the application of the labor of a person is the individual’s choice – not the government’s.
P.S. Small though it was, Westover “produce[d] the greatest variety of ports in the United States,” reports Baylen Linnekin. More from Darleen Click at Protein Wisdom. And in our comments section a reader identifying himself as William Smyth, owner of Westover Winery, comments here.
“California has a state law that prohibits for-profit companies from using volunteer labor.” That spelled doom for little Westover Winery in Castro Valley, which cleared around $11,000 in profits a year for its owning couple and used unpaid volunteers, many of them amateurs who wanted to learn the wine business. The state hit the business with $115,000 in fines and wiped it out, to the unhappiness of some of the displaced volunteers. [Scott Shackford, Reason; Rebecca Parr, Daily Review/San Jose Mercury News] More: A Debra Saunders column. And I mention this episode, along with the one linked below about a California law combating off-books contractors, in a new Cato post about how licensed and compliant businesses often support making government more powerful and invasive so as to go after the other kind.
- Latest NLRB jaw-dropper: ban on retaliation against “concerted” labor action extends to employee acting alone in self-interest [Fresh & Easy case; Hackman/Barley, Vorys, Ian Gabriel Nanos/Management Memo]
- Connecticut Law Tribune assails workplace arbitration, and in so doing reveals lawyerly prejudices [Schwartz]
- Religious-discrimination complaint to EEOC demands reinstatement of newspaper editor out of step with views of paper’s owner [Romenesko]
- Unfair to reveal to customers costs of policy they may favor? [WCCO; Coyote, who relatedly is disrespectful to Paul Krugman] “Why is there such a difference of opinion on the employment effects of a minimum wage increase?” [Pierre Lemieux, Cato Regulation magazine, PDF]
- “NLRB goes rogue against small business” [Rick Manning, The Hill]
- Among biggest legal headaches of telecommuting for employers: wage-and-hour law implications [Joseph Leonoro, Steptoe & Johnson]
- Canada: “Farmers’ Kids are ‘Underage Labor’ and Must Stop Working” [Lenore Skenazy]
Mallory Musallam had been a plaintiff in a class-action suit seeking minimum wage and overtime against the talk-show host on behalf of former interns. Now she has apologized and withdrawn her name, saying “lawsuit-hungry attorneys” had approached her at “a weak vulnerable time, facing student debt” and talked her into taking part in an action whose exact nature she didn’t recognize. “I cannot apologize enough for this debacle. I do not believe in getting something for nothing — that’s not how I was raised.” Her “now-former lawyer, Lloyd Ambinder, did not return a call for comment.” [N.Y. Daily News]
The many, many pitfalls of wage-and-hour law: “The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday finalized a $26-million legal settlement to end a lawsuit over a ban on lunchtime naps by trash-truck drivers. … Sanitation officials had imposed the no-nap rule to avoid the bad publicity that would come if a resident, business owner or television news crew stumbled across a sleeping city employee. But lawyers for the drivers said the city, by limiting workers’ mealtime activities, had essentially robbed them of their meal breaks.” [Los Angeles Times]
- After Harris v. Quinn, states and unions begin dropping mandatory dues collection for home health carers [Michigan Capitol Confidential, Fox; my two cents at Free State Notes on Maryland’s heel-dragging]
- Macy’s in suburban Boston is opening target for NLRB bid to install gerrymandered “micro-unions” [The Hill, earlier here, etc.]
- Federal contractors to fork over pay demographics, the better to be sued [Department of Labor]
- Speaking of the barrage of executive orders coming out of the White House, it’s beyond silly to pretend that all the costly new employment mandates will promote “efficiency and cost savings” [Coyote]
- “Gay Christian conservative employee sues gay bar for sexual, religious harassment” [Volokh]
- “House Hearing Highlights Problems in the Fair Labor Standards Act” [Alex Bolt]
- “Forcing Kids to Do Chores Not a Federal Crime” [Courthouse News, Volokh]
- California tenure lawsuit exposes rift between Democratic establishment and teachers’ union [Sean Higgins, Washington Examiner]
- NLRB pushing new interpretation to sweep much outsourcing into “joint employment” for labor law purposes [Marilyn Pearson, Inside Counsel]
- Restaurant “worker centers” campaign against tipping. Perhaps a sign their interests not fully aligned with waitstaffs’? [Ryan Williams, DC]
- NLRB’s edict against non-union employers’ confidentiality policies emblematic of its activist stance lately [Karen Michael, Times-Dispatch]
- Three public sector unions spent $4.3 million on Connecticut state political activities in 2011-2013 cycle [Suzanne Bates, Raising Hale]
- Sen. Lindsey Graham prepares funding rider to block NLRB “micro-union” recognition [Fred Wszolek, background]
- “Table Dance Manager” glitch alleged: “Exotic dancers + allegedly malfunctioning software = Fair Labor lawsuit” [Texas Lawyer]
Writing checks for overtime (or sending managers home before they reach the point of being entitled to it) is only the more visible cost to business of the Obama administration’s scheme to reclassify layers of junior management as hourly employees. Small businesses told the Wall Street Journal this spring (summarized) of the forbidding morale cost of discouraging ambitious employees from upwardly mobile, which usually means salary-oriented, thinking:
Emo Pentermann, owner of Bell ATM Service Inc., a distribution and repair shop for ATMs and other money machines in Centennial, Colo. …worries that making more people eligible for overtime pay could remove the inherent incentive for lower-level managers to hustle to earn a promotion.
“You work hard, develop the maturity for a salaried position, and then move up,” he says. “It takes away that whole level of maturity and freedom of choosing to get the job done in the time allotted. So for all practical purposes, they just might as well be on a time card.”
Jeffrey Harris has 70 salaried employees at his Chicago-based Inte Q, a marketing firm that specializes in customer-loyalty programs for brands such as Reebok and Office Depot. … He has tried to create a workplace environment that de-emphasizes keeping up with a time clock. For instance, employees can take time off work to attend a child’s performance in school….
…when he heard about the proposal, he said he immediately thought it would affect the type of work culture that has yielded results for him in both profits and employee retention. Only 2% of workers have voluntarily chosen to leave the company in the past three years, he says.
P.S. Proposed regulations anticipated by November 2014, final regulations “unlikely to arrive until Spring 2015″ [Wage and Hour Insights]
- “NLRB Could Ease Unionization of Franchisees” [Bill McMorris, Washington Free Beacon]
- Wait, you mean self-harm is something you can overdo? “Can the Minimum Wage Be Too High?” [NYT “Room for Debate”] “Correcting Harold Meyerson’s Math On The Minimum Wage” [Tim Worstall]
- Lawyers can help ascertain when lip-licking in workplace rises to level of harassment [Fox Rothschild]
- Pending bill in Illinois would do away with workers’ comp’s longstanding immunity for safety consultants [Kevin Martin, State Journal-Register]
- Best and worst states legally for staffing business [Leslie Stevens-Huffman, Staffing Industry]
- “You can have your strong public employee unions, ‘prevailing wages’ and restrictive work rules, or you can have nice infrastructure. New Yorkers have (perhaps unknowingly) made their choice.” [Scott Sumner via Arnold Kling]
- Does time spent driving to employer-mandated anger-management courses count as compensable “hours worked” under FLSA? [Bryan Symes, Ruder Ware]