The Worker Thread

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O Really
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Re: The Worker Thread

Unread post by O Really » Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:23 pm

As I recall, it's not McDonald's as a whole, but an individual franchise holder. In any case, federal and sometimes state law controls how pay can be delivered, and under what circumstances a cash/debit card or direct deposit can be required. In PA, the Wage, Payment and Collection law states that employers "shall pay in cash or by bank check." It doesn't preclude having direct deposit or debit card, but they can't require it. Filing a lawsuit on wage-hour issues isn't unusual - it's pretty much a cottage industry in some places - because there is no requirement for the claimant to go through the DOL. This girl has a winner as an individual, whether she'll get a collective action certified is another question.

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Re: The Worker Thread

Unread post by Mr.B » Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:50 pm

Debit cards are legal; having to pay fees is not. The beef is with the franchise owner, not the corporation.

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Re: The Worker Thread

Unread post by O Really » Thu Jun 20, 2013 8:07 pm

Mr.B wrote:Debit cards are legal; having to pay fees is not. The beef is with the franchise owner, not the corporation.
Correct, and the only reason her attorney is trying to get a collective action is because actual loss to her is so minute s/he couldn't make any money. Her total loss was what - $5 a week? Probably under a hundred dollars. Sure, she's in the right, and the franchise owner is wrong, but this is not a big deal. It's a prime example of OMG/Ain't It Awful at its best.

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Re: The Worker Thread

Unread post by O Really » Thu Jun 20, 2013 8:46 pm

Appealing to corporate is fine for a vertically organized company. For a franchise, not so much. But in any case, it's not like they were making her work off the clock or refusing to pay overtime. And I'm not saying she doesn't deserve to get her money. Just that the severity of the situation was blown totally out of proportion.

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Re: The Worker Thread

Unread post by Mr.B » Thu Jun 20, 2013 9:29 pm

It appears the owners did not research the ramifications of paying with debit cards, or the bank conveniently "forgot" to inform of the charges.

At any rate, it also appears the attorney is looking for a big payday by filing a class action in which the complainant is still the loser.

Unless McD's coporate issued the cards, they are blameless.

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Re: The Worker Thread

Unread post by bannination » Thu Jun 20, 2013 9:56 pm

Vrede wrote:
Mr.B wrote:...The beef is with the franchise owner, not the corporation.
Agreed, but who's to say that the fastest way to achieve change isn't by appealing to corporate? It's not like a boycott is being called for.
O Really wrote:...Her total loss was what - $5 a week?...
That's a six pack of cheap beer for a person with a sucky job. :D
Quite a bit of money when your take home is probably less than 200 bucks a week.... if they even get 40 hours.

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Re: The Worker Thread

Unread post by O Really » Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:27 pm

I'm not saying - again - that she shouldn't get her money. I'm just saying that this is an isolated incident, caused by a misinterpretation of what is allowed in use of a debit card as well as pig-headed franchise owners who didn't bother to get good legal advice, especially when questioned. They weren't making money off this. They weren't saving money off this, other than pennies for using the card vs. issuing paper checks. They are in the wrong, but it's not nearly the level of eeveel deserving of newsprint.

Here's the way wage-hour lawsuits work: if the plaintiff wins (and they almost always do, because any wrong or error at all on the part of the employer gives them a win), they get backpay for up to 2 years (3 for a willful violation), possibly liquidated damages (equal to the amount of backpay if the violation was willful), and attorney fees (employer pays fees). The fees are not a percentage of award, but actual "reasonable" fees. So this attorney files a suit for very very limited injury. Takes him an hour at best, plus cost of filing. Employer pays up in settlement, attorney has made maybe $300. But file it as a collective action, and s/he gets to run up a lot of hours in seeking claimants, doing depos, harassing the employer, yada. So maybe the collective action is justified, if the company has other employees who don't have a bank account and who were forced to take the debit card. But unless they have a lot, there's still not much in actual losses. There is, however, a lot in attorney fees. Again, the company is wrong and should settle. The ex employee is right and should get paid. But in the world of wage-hour violations, this one is not even a whiff in the wind - unless you read the paper, in which it turns into something akin to a sweatshop full of kids working for a dollar a day.

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Re: The Worker Thread

Unread post by O Really » Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:34 pm

Look for the union label - as if you could find one!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Lg4gGk53iY

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Re: The Worker Thread

Unread post by O Really » Wed Nov 20, 2013 8:42 pm

It looks like very few US companies have signed that particular agreement. http://www.just-style.com/analysis/who- ... 17856.aspx

Other than some Brooks Brothers suits for the rare occasions I have to actually look lawyerly, pretty much everything in my closet is Columbia, Patagonia, North Face, or Levi's (VF owns both North Face and Levi's and hasn't signed) Judging from the list, however, I'm not quite sure simple declination to sign that agreement is indication of being a willing participant in child abuse. On the other hand, the history of the textile and clothing industry is rife with abuse of all employees in general, so I certainly wouldn't give any of them a free pass as a wonderful corporate citizen.

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Re: The Worker Thread

Unread post by Mr.B » Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:12 pm

Vrede wrote: "........boycott GAP, Old Navy & Banana Republic this year!"
I never have shopped there anyway.

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Re: The Worker Thread

Unread post by O Really » Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:56 am

Vrede wrote:. However, once people around the world organize for change and a company resists that, it's my opinion that they become complicit.
I'd agree in broad principle. However, failing to participate in one particular initiative that might present legal complications not affecting the initiative's initiators doesn't in itself make them complicit.

IMNVHO, I think the only way they can avoid complicity is to not farm out production through all these subcontractors, knowing that eventually the work will be done in a sweatshop. Anything else is just moving the thimble around.

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Re: The Worker Thread

Unread post by O Really » Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:09 am

A cursory look at my labels found Columbia was from Sri Lanka, North Face was from India, and Patagonia was from Vietnam. I didn't look at every item, I doubt all came from the same location. Interesting, though - I bought the exact same item twice from Sports Authority and one of them was made in Thailand, the other in China. There was a notable difference in quality and construction.

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Re: The Worker Thread

Unread post by O Really » Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:28 am

Vrede wrote:That assumes that clothes cannot be made affordably by adults working in decent conditions. I'm not sure that's the case. The point is to establish minimum universal standards so that no one can gain a homicidal advantage.
Obtaining a homicidal advantage has always been a primary goal of clothing manufacturers. Whether it's kids in New England, women in NC, or starving people in Bangladesh, they've always looked for the lowest labor available. They've been slowed by regulation, like child labor, minimum wage, and safety laws, and made to temporarily behave better by unions or threat of unions, but those running clothing companies today are carrying the same corporate DNA as those who kicked around Norma Rae.

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Re: The Worker Thread

Unread post by O Really » Thu Nov 21, 2013 11:02 am

Vrede wrote:Agreed, all the more reason for enforceable universal standards, boycotts and responsible shopping. Dressing like Mr.B is a small price to pay. :P
I dunno, mon - dressing downscale from Old Navy is almost painful. Mr.B may not have a wife who says, "if you go around in those scroungy jeans, people will think your wife doesn't take care of you." :lol:

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Re: The Worker Thread

Unread post by O Really » Thu Nov 21, 2013 1:35 pm

Would it be a bit disingenuous to imply that I might shop there this holiday season if they sign? Not that one person's signature or shopping makes any difference anyway, but they could sign today and I wouldn't be shopping there for the holidays. Not because I'd be boycotting, but because I'm not their market demo. I might go into Old Navy once or twice a year. I don't remember the last time I was in GAP. and I'm not sure I've ever been in Banana Republic. Is there a difference in not shopping as a boycott and not shopping because you buy other stuff? A more real ethical question for me is, would I be willing to boycott REI, Diamond Brand and Mast because they sold Columbia brand pants that were made in Bangladesh fire-hazardous squalor. Truthfully, probably not. But I would buy something else not from Bangladesh.

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Re: The Worker Thread

Unread post by Mr.B » Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:10 pm

Vrede wrote: "I buy almost all my clothes at thrift stores - cheaper for me......."
Mr.B wrote: "I never have shopped there anyway."
Vrede wrote: "Mr.B, always ahead of his time"

Guess we're both cheapskates, huh? :lol: I've been known to frequent a few thrift stores myself, with the exception of Goodwill....their stores smell of pee.

As my "favorite" TV personality says "Why pay the difference if you can't see the difference?"

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Re: The Worker Thread

Unread post by Mr.B » Sun Nov 24, 2013 6:33 pm

Vrede wrote: "I've seen a pic and met him once, he looks pretty sharp. I don't know if his wife shops/reviews for him or not."
Gosh....thanks. No, my wife doesn't shop for me, but she does help occasionally with her opinions.

As stated, I do not shop the aforementioned stores because I feel they are grossly overpriced considering the quality and styling of their clothes.
If I want cheaply priced new clothes, depending on what they are and my need for them, I may shop at Wally or the K; others, generally at JCP or
Belk. I rarely pay full original price for anything, I wait for the sale. I'm not above shopping at thrift stores, but I am choosey at which I shop. I've never bought clothes for myself at Goodwill; their stores smell of sweat and urine. I stick to the ones operated by non-profits such as Humane Society, COA, or the SDA.....even then, they're washed thoroughly.

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Re: The Worker Thread

Unread post by Mr.B » Sun Nov 24, 2013 7:17 pm

The SDA has a small thrift store behind their church on Asheville Hwy. It's open on Tuesday mornings.
Not a great selection, but once in a while I find something there.

My wife is a big fan of the Purple Ribbon, I'm not. We don't go to Salvation Army much. The Humane Society has two stores on Greenville Hwy.,
one for hardlines, one for clothes and small paraphernalia.

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Re: The Worker Thread

Unread post by Mr.B » Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:54 am

Vrede wrote: "There's a really obvious joke there."
I fail to get it.

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Re: The Worker Thread

Unread post by Mr.B » Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:12 pm

Vrede wrote: "Think about what Mainstay's mission is. ;)"
Not me, Bubba!

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