Unpaid leave during CV19 - how some employers will break the law

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by wegs, Apr 8, 2020.

  1. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    I get it. I'd send them an email saying "I'm on unpaid leave at the moment and therefore not available. Looking forward to being able to chat with you soon. Stay safe.".

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  3. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

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    In a lot of fields, the quintessential non-expert, or perfect novice, can be a serious asset. Though that’s likely not the case with law. If only…

    Still, this is a scenario without precedent. I kinda feel that I might finally be able to put my lengthy exegesis on the notion of wu nien (roughly, no thought) within the Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch of Ch’an Buddhism to real use. Kinda like the prophet in Midsommar, or intellectualized beatnik readings of Zen, back in the day.

    Problem with non-expertise is, well, practice makes perfect—or, at least, adequate. You can only be an ignoramus for so long, and while people have long made earnest attempts to cultivate the naive state, you can only get so far. Example: Brian Eno was sufficiently inexpert in Roxy Music, Matching Mole, Portsmouth Sinfonia, but by the time of his first solo record he could no longer claim the title of “non-musician.”

    But I’d love to be able to consult for legal firms, just spewing whatever bullshit popped into my head at the moment, though it’d be a hard sell.

    I'm only half-joking, really, because I think we are approaching legal avenues previously unexplored. Someone's gotta real creative with this to minimize the potentially catastrophic economic impact.
     
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  5. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Well, easy way is just stop calling in (or call in only when you feel like it.) If he asks you to attend more often, reply "Great to hear the furlough is over! Let me know when our first official day back is."
     
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  7. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    If only it was that easy. But I’m not going to be on the two calls tomorrow.

    I just went onto an attorney placement site, and “chatted” with the site assistant who took my info, and what the gist of my complaint is and tomorrow, an attorney within my area will be calling me. I’ll keep ya posted.
     
  8. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Well, unpaid leave is unpaid leave, regardless if it was brought about by a pandemic. That part is without precedent but the laws seem clear, so we will see what a lawyer says. I’m not “ready” to do anything just yet, but would like to know my rights and if need be, then I’ll take further action.

    It’s funny how such highly educated men running this firm can be so dumb when it comes to the law. Or maybe they’re just playing dumb. Hmm.
     
  9. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

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    I think in a lot of instances it's a gamble--the employer knows damn well that what they are doing is illegal, but they're counting on the employees being either ignorant of the law or unwilling (for a multitude of reasons) to call them out on it. This is a practice for which Walmart has a very long history. They routinely violate all kinds of labor practice laws, and in some very few instances must pay recompense, but in the long run it works--financially--to their advantage.
     
  10. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    What is the Walmart history? How do you do this to minimum wages "associates"?
     
  11. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

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    This covers some of it -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Walmart

    From memory, they routinely have employees put in extra hours without pay, then there were the night "lock-ins"--https://www.nytimes.com/2004/01/18/us/workers-assail-night-lock-ins-by-wal-mart.html ... It goes on...

    C'mon, this has been extensively documented for decades now.

    https://www.dailydot.com/unclick/walmart-labor-unions-bad-company/

     
  12. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Yea, I’d say you’re right in that most employers don’t think their employees will stand up to them for fear of losing the lawsuit and also their job, any future references from that employer, etc...

    Pre-pandemic, I was paid very well, and it’s a great job, but not without its pressure. But, I’ve learned throughout this situation, that adversity usually reveals people’s true colors, and I’m seeing how poorly my firm is managed, it’s sobering.

    Wal-Mart does tend to have a lot of lawsuits brought on by employees. Many have to do with sexual harassment and not promoting women.
     
  13. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    I don't really focus on Walmart. Everyone talks about Walmart. I think I've been in one Walmart in my life. It's barely on my radar.
     
  14. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

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    I actually haven't been in one in years either. Frankly, I don't really get the appeal. Same with those Sam's Club or Costco type stores--the places that sell packages of 500 rolls of toilet paper and such. To my knowledge, they're not actually cheaper than many other places so I don't know why anyone would bother.
     
  15. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    So agree ^^

    There’s nothing appealing to me about Wal-Mart, and I just feel it’s a greedy empire. I prefer supporting local small businesses and farmers markets.
     
  16. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    I don't think there is a Walmart in Seattle. There is one in a community north of town and I think I've been in that once when I lived up that way.

    I am not a member of Costco and I've been any when I had a girlfriend who was a member. I don't get the appeal of going to huge stores with large crowds/lines. I just shop frequently at my neighborhood grocery store. I don't need 5 lbs of peanut butter.

    Everyone tells me the stores are out of toilet paper. My local grocery store isn't.
     
  17. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Yeah, I think I've been to Wal-Mart maybe five times in my life - and those were all when we were on the road and there was nothing else around. (That we knew of at least.)

    I never saw the appeal of the Costco type stores either - until we had kids. Now we go through such large volumes of everything that it makes a little more sense.
     
  18. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Haven’t heard from any attorneys, yet. I’m going to just look for a new job. I’m over giving my mental energy to this place.
     
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  19. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Update - I talked with an attorney today, everyone! She said that by law, I need to be paid for the hours worked, based on my hourly rate. (I’m salaried but it would $60 an hour) lol Yea, I doubt the CEO is going to pay this considering he wants to milk the situation for as long as he can. She said she’d take the case if/when I’m ready. She said her main issue is that we who have been out on unpaid leave, are working. She said even if it is out of the goodness of your heart, by law he has to pay me. She asked me what would it take for me to be ready to make a claim? I replied “if I’m fired for not working during unpaid leave.” (Or if I refuse to attend meetings, which I haven’t been this week) She said, yes that would too be “illegal.”

    What my employer is doing is violating the Fair Labor Standards Act and there are other additions she said, that came on after CV19.

    I feel so much better now, and will see how things go. She was also surprised that the CEO hasn’t made employees aware of how long this will last or when to expect to be paid again. She said that is also illegal - and he should lay employees off to sever the relationship if he doesn’t foresee paying you in the near future.
     
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  20. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    30,994
    In the dearth of demand that will follow the first and probably second wave of this virus, companies are going to be laying people off. If their criteria do not include whether or not a given employee put in free work while technically on break, that will be a first.

    Something similar is being set up between companies - those in States that go back early will enjoy competitive advantages over those who stay idle, especially in doing business with foreign countries that handled their responses better and can return to more normal behavior without the serious risk, while not suffering much greater share of the hardship from the extra deaths etc. they cause.

    Public health, workforce health, is a commons - as in "Tragedy Of The - - ".
     

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