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Author Topic: Fired For Working Through Lunch
Samprimary
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quote:
The way I see it, she shouldn't have been punished for wanting to finish her work. It's not even as if an argument could be made that she was goldbricking. She wasn't even attempting to get paid for it, she just wanted to finish what she was working on.

So I don't think she did anything significantly wrong (I can see that declining to clock out when ordered to was a sort of insubordination, but I think the situation even getting to that point is absurd.) If I don't think she was wrong, then who was?

Whether or not a labor law is present to compel that order from the boss, she is wrong. She's disobeying orders repeatedly.

If your boss tells you not to work over your lunch break, don't work over your lunch break. It's pretty excruciatingly simple.

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Rakeesh
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*nod* It seems pretty straightforward to me. In most jobs, your boss is going to have control over how your time is spent over a given stretch of time throughout the week. You agree to this submission as an employee for, yknow, money.

When and how(to a lesser extent) you take your lunch break or breaks period is, again, one of those things that outside of illegality, the boss has control over. Another of those 'the way it is' things.

So if your boss says take a lunch break, and don't do work for the company...that's what you have to do. I'm really confused as to why this aspect of things is even an issue. Whether it's a sensible order, whether it's stupid...I mean, not the employee's call unless part of their agreement to work includes something like 'I reserve the right to disobey instructions I deem pointless, counterproductive, or stupid'.

quote:
Every job comes with things people will see as downsides. I don't see how working through your lunch is a more exploitative downside than handling human waste. Some people will find the downside worthwhile, some won't.
Another thing every job does, or should, come with is clearly defined expectations about what is needed to survive and thrive in the job. What is hardly ever included in those expectations is the understanding that, whether by necessity or whim, the employer can say, "Ok, time to do some work you weren't told to expect when we both agreed you'd work here; if you don't like it, of course I'm sure you can find an equivalent job fast enough that you won't miss a mortgage payment, or have your gas cut off, or really dent your savings."

(On a semi-related note, this is one of the things that has always so thoroughly baffled me about-I know you're not a libertarian, Dan-politics that lean towards it. Ok, I get that trusting government to do what is right for society is problematic; why is trusting random employers not to stick it to their employees a more rational notion? The very self interest on which such politics relies would suggest that employer might be MORE likely to do so, not less.)

[ January 26, 2012, 01:28 AM: Message edited by: Rakeesh ]

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
*nod* It seems pretty straightforward to me. In most jobs, your boss is going to have control over how your time is spent over a given stretch of time throughout the week. You agree to this submission as an employee for, yknow, money.

When and how(to a lesser extent) you take your lunch break or breaks period is, again, one of those things that outside of illegality, the boss has control over. Another of those 'the way it is' things.

So if your boss says take a lunch break, and don't do work for the company...that's what you have to do. I'm really confused as to why this aspect of things is even an issue. Whether it's a sensible order, whether it's stupid...I mean, not the employee's call unless part of their agreement to work includes something like 'I reserve the right to disobey instructions I deem pointless, counterproductive, or stupid'.

So, I don't specifically disagree with this. She disobeyed her manager's directions, she got fired.

Again, I think the whole situation she and her employer were put in is what's unjust, not the fact that they fired her.

quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
Every job comes with things people will see as downsides. I don't see how working through your lunch is a more exploitative downside than handling human waste. Some people will find the downside worthwhile, some won't.
Another thing every job does, or should, come with is clearly defined expectations about what is needed to survive and thrive in the job. What is hardly ever included in those expectations is the understanding that, whether by necessity or whim, the employer can say, "Ok, time to do some work you weren't told to expect when we both agreed you'd work here; if you don't like it, of course I'm sure you can find an equivalent job fast enough that you won't miss a mortgage payment, or have your gas cut off, or really dent your savings."
I want to make sure we're talking about the same thing here.

First of all, it seems pretty common that roles and responsibilities do change after you've been hired. It doesn't always happen, but it's not like it's uncommon. "Oh, you know HTML? That's great! Could you please set up this site for me, I'm really running short on time. It needs to include X, Y, and Z. Thanks."

The simple fact of being asked to do something other than what you were hired on for doesn't seem exploitative to me. If you can't do it, then you can't do it. If you're doing the job you were hired for, and that job is still necessary, reasonable employers won't fire you for not being able to do some additional job. However, it makes perfect sense that someone who was able to do the additional job would have higher value to the company.

This leads me to...

quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
(On a semi-related note, this is one of the things that has always so thoroughly baffled me about-I know you're not a libertarian, Dan-politics that lean towards it. Ok, I get that trusting government to do what is right for society is problematic; why is trusting random employers not to stick it to their employees a more rational notion? The very self interest on which such politics relies would suggest that employer might be MORE likely to do so, not less.)

I don't think that disliking laws laying out exactly how two parties can decide on the best voluntary exchange of labor and compensation equates to assuming that all employers are going to be good!

But there are real costs to being a lousy employer. From a purely pragmatic standpoint, it typically doesn't benefit you to screw around with people you've hired. Take your example above: Why would it be smart to potentially lose an employee you already paid to train by suddenly and arbitrarily changing their job?

Despite the fact that being a lousy employer has real costs and isn't very smart, they still exist, of course! Because most people aren't actually very rational. [Frown]

Luckily, lousy employers rarely manifest in a vacuum. Every bad manager I've ever seen pretty obviously demonstrated how bad they were in very short order. The times such managers had power over me, I immediately took steps to find new managers. In such a situation, it would hardly be surprising to suddenly find an unreasonable burden placed on you. Hopefully, by the time it arrives, you've arranged your escape route. Of course, ideally, you always have an escape route ready anyway just in case, but I digress.

I haven't even gotten to the biggest reason, though, Rakeesh.

The biggest reason is that making laws about it doesn't really help much. I mean, lousy employers still exist. They still find ways to dick over their employees. And employment is a two-way street: lousy employees also exist, in abundance, and find ways to dick over their employers.

Making this or that particular practice illegal doesn't protect either party from getting screwed over, and it does create situations where employees and employers can become incentivized or coerced by the law into doing things that help neither of them.

PS: No need to hedge around me, I don't really care if you refer to me as a libertarian or not. I won't be offended, so long as you're addressing what I actually say and not what you imagine the libertarian stance to be. [Smile]

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Samprimary
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quote:
The biggest reason is that making laws about it doesn't really help much.
Yeah it does. The specific industries that have managed to cadge special exceptions (amusement parks calling themselves 'seasonal employment,' for instance) stand in stark, garish contrast to companies that are not allowed to benefit from grandfathered special privileges. When these special exceptions are iced on a state by state level, the improvement is rapid and significant.

quote:
Making this or that particular practice illegal doesn't protect either party from getting screwed over...
To defend this, you'd have to argue that workplace protections like safety regulations and labor codes have literally benefited neither party at all, not even since the time of triangle shirtwaist co. How would you go about substantiating this point of view? From where did you get the idea?
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
At which point, presumably, the company felt it wasn't worth it.

Why mandate that she be paid overtime in that situation? If she's willing to work for normal pay, why not let her?

Because if you do, she's being exploited?

Yes.

If the company is unwilling to pay for overtime, and yet allows its employees to work more than full time hours for regular pay, they are exploiting the employees, however tacitly they may be doing so. It doesn't necessarily take an act of commission to be exploitative. Ignoring overwork for which you are not paying is nonetheless against the law.

quote:
The biggest reason is that making laws about it doesn't really help much. I mean, lousy employers still exist. They still find ways to dick over their employees. And employment is a two-way street: lousy employees also exist, in abundance, and find ways to dick over their employers.
Says a person who likely has never been unlawfully terminated for refusing to work unpaid overtime in a crappy low-wage job. But there are literally millions of Americans who are in that position- the laws are largely in place for their benefit. And the fact that they are difficult to enforce or are poorly enforced, is not evidence that they are not needed. The response of simply removing the restrictions against wholesale exploitation, I honestly don't understand at all.

It's simple. You work a given number of hours. If you are needed to work more, you must be payed more. We establish reasonable limits for how much is enough, and how much is too much to be safe, and healthy. And we follow those limits. And if we can't follow them, we're doing something wrong.


ETA: As to the former point, consider the existence of SAG (screen actors guild). IF they were allowed to, Hollywood studios could hold open casting calls for TV shows and movies, and find enough people to play extras and minor parts for free. Plenty of people would be more than happy to simply have the opportunity to appear on television or in a movie. But the studios are not allowed to employ people without paying them. While there are obviously a number of absurd sounding outcomes in this arrangement (such as being payed hundreds of dollars for playing an extra, which is not difficult), the point is that the studios are not allowed to exploit people who would gladly *allow* themselves to be exploited.

[ January 26, 2012, 11:05 AM: Message edited by: Orincoro ]

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vegimo
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quote:
Smiley said her job had became so stressful that she suffered a stroke and was off work for almost three months, beginning July 13, 2009, according to the court filing.
I would guess that this played into the decision to fire her as well. She had already suffered a stroke that was apparently caused in part by the stress of the job. She was refusing to take a break even though she was told to do so by her employer. Did they feel she adding to her own stress level again? Did they not want to take that risk?
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Orincoro
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I like how the thread starts with an implied: "Egads! These liberals and their stupid labor laws... how absurd!"

And then we find out we're talking about a neurotic stroke victim who is flagrantly violating a company policy, and the law, and has worried her employers so much with her behavior that they have been forced to dismiss her.

So yeah.

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vegimo
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The odd part is, I don't know whether or not she is a "neurotic stoke victim." I was just wondering if that little item - which had not been discussed yet in this thread - had any effect on the situation. I don't know. The article only mentioned it as an aside. That is why I only raised the question rather than go so far as to state an opinion.

Maybe she was an antagonistic employee after coming back to work. Maybe her employers were a bunch of vindictive jerks. We don't know.

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Orincoro
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No, of course, we don't know. That's the important point, with so many of these types of stories.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:

quote:
Making this or that particular practice illegal doesn't protect either party from getting screwed over...
To defend this, you'd have to argue that workplace protections like safety regulations and labor codes have literally benefited neither party at all, not even since the time of triangle shirtwaist co. How would you go about substantiating this point of view? From where did you get the idea?
Really? That's how you're going to portray that quote?

I'm not saying that making X practice illegal doesn't, in some cases, keep people from screwing over their employees via X practice. Of course it does! Many employers will stop using X practice to screw over their employees.

Of course, some employers will find ways to disregard the law and still screw over their employes via X practice (like people employing under-the-table low wage workers whose job is fundamentally illegal and so they have little recourse against an employer who happens to be breaking another law by utilizing X practice... you know, the poorest of the poor people who these laws are always ostensibly supposed to protect)

More importantly, law-abiding employers can still screw over their employees via Y practice, or Z practice. And in the mean time, by making practice X illegal you also hinder good, law-abiding employers and employees who simply think that their working arrangement would be better if they utilized practice X.

PS: Sam is there some reason you feel the need to ask me "where I got this idea" every time we talk?

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
At which point, presumably, the company felt it wasn't worth it.

Why mandate that she be paid overtime in that situation? If she's willing to work for normal pay, why not let her?

Because if you do, she's being exploited?

Yes.

If the company is unwilling to pay for overtime, and yet allows its employees to work more than full time hours for regular pay, they are exploiting the employees, however tacitly they may be doing so. It doesn't necessarily take an act of commission to be exploitative. Ignoring overwork for which you are not paying is nonetheless against the law.

Do you really not see how this is a tautology? I'm asking "Why should this be illegal?" and your response seems to be "Because it's illegal."
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kmbboots
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Dan, what, if any, work place regulations make sense to you?
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MrSquicky
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quote:
The biggest reason is that making laws about it doesn't really help much. I mean, lousy employers still exist. They still find ways to dick over their employees. And employment is a two-way street: lousy employees also exist, in abundance, and find ways to dick over their employers.

Making this or that particular practice illegal doesn't protect either party from getting screwed over, and it does create situations where employees and employers can become incentivized or coerced by the law into doing things that help neither of them.

I'm not sure I'm reading this correctly. At first, I thought you were saying that the establishment of the 40 hour work week didn't and doesn't help workers.

But, reading it again, I think you are saying that there is no point to having any workplace regulations at all, because none of them help workers. Is that an accurate summation?

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Dan_Frank
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Actually, I'm talking about whether or not making it illegal to work through your lunch helps anyone!

Since that's the title of the thread and all.

It's true that many of my arguments can be applied to other workplace regulations, but lunch breaks was the actual topic at hand and the thing I have generally tried to be discussing.

The fact that you guys seem more interested in finding out my position about workplace regulations in general is interesting. Should I take that to mean that you agree that the regulations on lunch breaks specifically may be a little excessive, but you're reluctant to give me an inch because you're afraid I might take a mile? I promise I won't. [Smile]

And if you don't agree, I think it would make more sense to keep the discussion focused to lunch breaks for now. I mean, if we can't reach an agreement on something as specific and relatively minor as that, the likelihood of us agreeing on an even broader and more controversial issue seems really negligible!

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Actually, I'm talking about whether or not making it illegal to work through your lunch helps anyone!
This is a very easy question: yes, it does. In the past I've worked with probably scores of people who would have been told, many times, that they had to work through their lunch breaks if their employers had that option. On 9+ hour shifts, no less.

Had that happened, they could've liked it or lumped it and looked elsewhere, though on an individual level the employee is generally much weaker than the employer. So then, your theory as I understand it goes, lots of employees are upset by this policy and quit. They're all in a financial situation where they CAN just quit.

Then they have to find ankther employer, one who hopefully doesn't share this policy. If they can't, well it's a tough world, I guess.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
At which point, presumably, the company felt it wasn't worth it.

Why mandate that she be paid overtime in that situation? If she's willing to work for normal pay, why not let her?

Because if you do, she's being exploited?

Yes.

If the company is unwilling to pay for overtime, and yet allows its employees to work more than full time hours for regular pay, they are exploiting the employees, however tacitly they may be doing so. It doesn't necessarily take an act of commission to be exploitative. Ignoring overwork for which you are not paying is nonetheless against the law.

Do you really not see how this is a tautology? I'm asking "Why should this be illegal?" and your response seems to be "Because it's illegal."
I have seen you ignore the several reasons why I think it *should* be illegal. Do try and spot those. They are in there.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
Actually, I'm talking about whether or not making it illegal to work through your lunch helps anyone!
This is a very easy question: yes, it does. In the past I've worked with probably scores of people who would have been told, many times, that they had to work through their lunch breaks if their employers had that option. On 9+ hour shifts, no less.

Had that happened, they could've liked it or lumped it and looked elsewhere, though on an individual level the employee is generally much weaker than the employer. So then, your theory as I understand it goes, lots of employees are upset by this policy and quit. They're all in a financial situation where they CAN just quit.

Then they have to find ankther employer, one who hopefully doesn't share this policy. If they can't, well it's a tough world, I guess.

I guess I should have said "Helps more than it hurts" instead of helps anyone. Clarity is good.

So, let's keep your example and examine it a little more deeply.

Some people like it! They get paid more, and they do bagged lunches anyway that they can eat while working. They win! Yay! [Big Grin]

Some people hate it! What's more, they're not financially safe enough to just quit over it. They'll get paid more, but they really enjoy having the time away from their job so that they can recharge their battery. They don't quit, and they keep working, but their morale goes down and they are unhappy. They lose! Boo! [Frown]

Some people in the above category feel that way, but they realize that with the extra money they make from working an extra half hour, they can save up a little more. While they tough things out, they look for new work. Eventually, they find a job that fits them a little better, and they have a little more saved up than they would have expected to have. They won after all! Sort of! Yay? [Confused]

Some people hate it and they're already financially secure enough to change jobs over this issue. They tell the employer to stuff it, and they go work somewhere for an employer that's a little more their style. Since these guys don't like employers that spring new challenges on them last minute, and the fundamental nature of their employer wasn't going to change whether or not they could make people work through lunch, there's a good chance these people would have been unhappy and butting heads with their employers sooner or later anyway! It was a painful lesson to learn, but they managed to leave a situation that would have been bad for them! That's a moderate win! [Smile]

And then we have the employer! They get more productivity from some of their remaining employees. They lose some employees. They keep some employees with lowered morale and lowered productivity. Now they need to analyze the effects of their decision and find out how many people of each category they employed! Depending on what they find, it was either a profitable decision, or an unprofitable one. To a certain extent this dictates whether they win or lose. But failed policies are still validated learnings, so even if this policy overall hurt productivity, the company has learned a valuable lesson and can use this information to inform it's next policy decision! That's still a win! Huzzah!
[Party]

Why is it better to simply say "Nope, you can't work through your lunch. Too bad." ?

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kmbboots
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Working through lunch could be a violation of several regulations. This is why it would be helpful to know what regulations you support.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
At which point, presumably, the company felt it wasn't worth it.

Why mandate that she be paid overtime in that situation? If she's willing to work for normal pay, why not let her?

Because if you do, she's being exploited?

Yes.

If the company is unwilling to pay for overtime, and yet allows its employees to work more than full time hours for regular pay, they are exploiting the employees, however tacitly they may be doing so. It doesn't necessarily take an act of commission to be exploitative. Ignoring overwork for which you are not paying is nonetheless against the law.

Do you really not see how this is a tautology? I'm asking "Why should this be illegal?" and your response seems to be "Because it's illegal."
I have seen you ignore the several reasons why I think it *should* be illegal. Do try and spot those. They are in there.
I'm not trying to ignore them! I think I addressed everything in your post on the previous page. Let me take a second look at the one on this page.

So, the stuff about SAG and the stuff about us establishing rules and enforcing them or being wrong is still tautological. You're not explaining why these things are wrong. So I guess you're referring to this part here:

quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:

quote:
The biggest reason is that making laws about it doesn't really help much. I mean, lousy employers still exist. They still find ways to dick over their employees. And employment is a two-way street: lousy employees also exist, in abundance, and find ways to dick over their employers.
Says a person who likely has never been unlawfully terminated for refusing to work unpaid overtime in a crappy low-wage job. But there are literally millions of Americans who are in that position- the laws are largely in place for their benefit. And the fact that they are difficult to enforce or are poorly enforced, is not evidence that they are not needed. The response of simply removing the restrictions against wholesale exploitation, I honestly don't understand at all.

I admit I avoided this because it seemed needlessly personal, but that's cool. Also because it has nothing to do with lunch breaks! You're asking me to argue in favor of... unpaid overtime, I guess?

Whelp, here goes!

You're right! I've never been unlawfully terminated for refusing to work unpaid overtime in a crappy low-wage job. Although I have worked unpaid overtime in a crappy low-wage job! Oh man, that was rough. But it was worth it.

I've also asked people who were in crappy low wage jobs to work overtime. And since I was in AZ, by Californian standards it was unpaid overtime of a sort: I've asked someone with minimal hours to pull a double shift, which means their hours are still paid regular time, because you needed to work over 40 in a week to get time and a half in AZ. God, what an exploitative manager I was. Of course, I never had to fire people for not doing it, because there was almost always someone who leapt at the chance for more hours and more money. Funny, that.

Except it's not funny. It's sort of the point. How does a company benefit from firing a trained employee who isn't willing to put in overtime? The only way I can see that being good for the company is if there is someone else already trained waiting in the wings who would gladly do the job and put in overtime.

At which point you're saying it's wrong to fire Fred in order to hire George. Why? Why is Fred somehow more deserving? Hell, George sounds like he really needs the money! If the company benefits from hiring George, and George benefits from getting the job, how is this worse than the company losing by keeping Fred and George being unemployed?

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Working through lunch could be a violation of several regulations. This is why it would be helpful to know what regulations you support.

Well, it could be, or it is?

If another regulation is directly relevant, to the extent that it is impossible to consider letting someone work through lunch without considering this other reg too, then I'd be happy to discuss it. [Smile]

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:

So, the stuff about SAG and the stuff about us establishing rules and enforcing them or being wrong is still tautological.

No. I mentioned several reasons *why* these rules are important. I will not lower myself to repeating them verbatim *again* so that you can either attack my wording of a summary version, or claim I didn't say something before that i am saying now. If you can't spot them, we're done talking.

quote:
I've also asked people who were in crappy low wage jobs to work overtime. And since I was in AZ, by Californian standards it was unpaid overtime of a sort: I've asked someone with minimal hours to pull a double shift, which means their hours are still paid regular time, because you needed to work over 40 in a week to get time and a half in AZ. God, what an exploitative manager I was
Considering the person hadn't worked over 40 hours in a week, the law clearly believes that this is not exploitation.

You need to do some calculus here, before you continue in the smarmy-assed tone you've established in talking to me. The law in the situation you mentioned doesn't consider this exploitation. I agree. I do not agree simply *because* the law takes that position. However, given that we live in a democratic society under the rule of law, the law has been calibrated to fit rather neatly with what I personally, and myriad others, believe is *right.* Asking someone to work a double shift when they work only 40 hours a week, for regular pay, seems ok to me. Shockingly, the law agrees.

Asking someone to work overtime, without pay, as I mentioned many people do, seems wrong. Shockingly, the law agrees again.

But do go on with your dripping sarcasm about how I must think your a terrible manager for following the law, which I agree with. And do go on assuming I think things are ok as long as they are legal, and not that I think the law is largely in step with what I believe is justified. Because to someone like you, obviously, there is no faith in notion that the majority of laws exist because they *should*, and because people *want* them to. Not as long as you need to preserve some paranoid fantasy of big-government persecution of you honest hard-working folk who are beaten down by not allowing employees to take bathroom breaks.

Have you awakened my ire? Yes.

[ January 26, 2012, 08:18 PM: Message edited by: Orincoro ]

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:

So, the stuff about SAG and the stuff about us establishing rules and enforcing them or being wrong is still tautological.

No. I mentioned several reasons *why* these rules are important. I will not lower myself to repeating them verbatim *again* so that you can either attack my wording of a summary version, or claim I didn't say something before that i am saying now. If you can't spot them, we're done talking.
Hey, if you don't feel like you're learning anything from the conversation, I encourage you not to continue. That's the only reason to do this stuff, after all. If it's upsetting you, at the bare minimum you should probably take a break. It's cool. All this text will still be here if you decide to come back later. [Smile]

I'm going to respond though, going on the assumption you decide to come back. Also because I want to do my best to respond to your points, especially the ones I missed.

So... the only part of the post I can see that I haven't already quoted and commented on are these two:

quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
It's simple. You work a given number of hours. If you are needed to work more, you must be payed more. We establish reasonable limits for how much is enough, and how much is too much to be safe, and healthy. And we follow those limits. And if we can't follow them, we're doing something wrong.

I understand that we establish these things, and I understand we're a representative democracy, so presumably these are laws most people agree are moral. That makes sense, but perhaps a fundamental schism we're having is that I don't think morality is determined via consensus. So I don't see it as incongruous and ipso facto wrong to disagree with what most people think is moral.

In the above paragraph you really succinctly explain what standards we set. What I don't see is an explanation of why these are good standards to set. What am I missing?

The other thing I didn't directly quote:

quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
ETA: As to the former point, consider the existence of SAG (screen actors guild). IF they were allowed to, Hollywood studios could hold open casting calls for TV shows and movies, and find enough people to play extras and minor parts for free. Plenty of people would be more than happy to simply have the opportunity to appear on television or in a movie. But the studios are not allowed to employ people without paying them. While there are obviously a number of absurd sounding outcomes in this arrangement (such as being payed hundreds of dollars for playing an extra, which is not difficult), the point is that the studios are not allowed to exploit people who would gladly *allow* themselves to be exploited.

Again, I understand that we don't allow these things. What I don't see is where you explained why letting people work in a movie for free is exploitation. I think, if those people want to do it, then everybody wins. If I enjoy helping my mom set up her VCR for free, then we both won, because she got a set up VCR and I got to help my mom. That's a win/win.

quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
quote:
I've also asked people who were in crappy low wage jobs to work overtime. And since I was in AZ, by Californian standards it was unpaid overtime of a sort: I've asked someone with minimal hours to pull a double shift, which means their hours are still paid regular time, because you needed to work over 40 in a week to get time and a half in AZ. God, what an exploitative manager I was
Considering the person hadn't worked over 40 hours in a week, the law clearly believes that this is not exploitation.
Well, unless you're working in California. Then it is exploitation! In CA, if you work more than 8 hours in a day, you must be paid overtime, even if you do not work 40 hours in a week.

quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
You need to do some calculus here, before you continue in the smarmy-assed tone you've established in talking to me. The law in the situation you mentioned doesn't consider this exploitation. I agree. I do not agree simply *because* the law takes that position. However, given that we live in a democratic society under the rule of law, the law has been calibrated to fit rather neatly with what I personally, and myriad others, believe is *right.* Asking someone to work a double shift when they work only 40 hours a week, for regular pay, seems ok to me. Shockingly, the law agrees.

Except in the places it doesn't. So this is really valuable learning! You think labor laws in California (at least in this one area) go too far, and are wrong. While the labor laws in AZ (in this one area) are right. This is especially interesting because many people in states like CA tend to characterize right-to-work states like AZ as fundamentally more exploitative. But you disagree! Awesome! [Big Grin] (Since you seem to be detecting hostility from me, I want to be clear: this isn't sarcasm. I'm excited that we've found a labor law that you think is unjust! It also proves the point you made further down, that you don't think things are wrong simply because they're illegal)

quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
Asking someone to work overtime, without pay, as I mentioned many people do, seems wrong. Shockingly, the law agrees again.

But do go on with your dripping sarcasm about how I must think your a terrible manager for following the law, which I agree with. And do go on assuming I think things are ok as long as they are legal, and not that I think the law is largely in step with what I believe is justified. Because to someone like you, obviously, there is no faith in notion that the majority of laws exist because they *should*, and because people *want* them to. Not as long as you need to preserve some paranoid fantasy of big-government persecution of you honest hard-working folk who are beaten down by not allowing employees to take bathroom breaks.

Here's an example of some stuff I'm going to gloss over because I'm pretty sure it's mostly just invective and not trying to substantiate any particular points (aside from maybe the one I mentioned above, which is that you don't think things are wrong just because they're illegal). I don't mind. I have difficulty controlling my temper, so I'm not one to think ill of someone else with the same problem.

But if there's another point in here that I missed, let me know.


quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:

Have you awakened my ire? Yes.

That's cool. That you chose to get angry in this context is a little disappointing, but it's not terribly surprising. No biggie. [Smile]
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Samprimary
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Ok, this got dumb on both sides real fast, I'll just, ah, come back later
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kmbboots
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"Fred, if you want to keep your desperately needed job, you will work an extra 10 hours unpaid this week."
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
Again, I understand that we don't allow these things. What I don't see is where you explained why letting people work in a movie for free is exploitation. I think, if those people want to do it, then everybody wins. If I enjoy helping my mom set up her VCR for free, then we both won, because she got a set up VCR and I got to help my mom. That's a win/win.

Are you seriously comparing those two incredibly different scenarios?

quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
Well, unless you're working in California. Then it is exploitation! In CA, if you work more than 8 hours in a day, you must be paid overtime, even if you do not work 40 hours in a week.

Not always. In many cases workers with 10-hour shifts (or even 12 hour shifts) do not have to be paid overtime.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
Again, I understand that we don't allow these things. What I don't see is where you explained why letting people work in a movie for free is exploitation. I think, if those people want to do it, then everybody wins. If I enjoy helping my mom set up her VCR for free, then we both won, because she got a set up VCR and I got to help my mom. That's a win/win.

Are you seriously comparing those two incredibly different scenarios?
Sort of? I acknowledge they're different. For example, I would happily be an extra in The Hobbit for free.

The fundamental similarity is that one party feels like they gain non-monetary value simply by doing the work, of a sufficient amount that they think the work is worth doing even with zero pay. And the other party is obviously happy to have someone do that work without charging them.

Don't internships also operate on this principle?

quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
Well, unless you're working in California. Then it is exploitation! In CA, if you work more than 8 hours in a day, you must be paid overtime, even if you do not work 40 hours in a week.

Not always. In many cases workers with 10-hour shifts (or even 12 hour shifts) do not have to be paid overtime.
Thanks for correcting me. I didn't know that. [Smile]

If I'm reading this right, it means that there are certain types of jobs where this is the case. Sort of the way that there are certain types of professions in CA where you can legally agree to be allowed to work through lunch, right?

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
"Fred, if you want to keep your desperately needed job, you will work an extra 10 hours unpaid this week."

Wow that sounds like a sleazy boss!

Is it your position that, if this was legal, most employers would take this sort of stance?

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kmbboots
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When it was legal here, they certainly did. Where is it still legal, they certainly do. It happens plenty with exempt workers who don't have those legal protections. You never heard of people working a 60 hour week?
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fugu13
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Interestingly, the typical full time work week in manufacturing and related was already down to a bit under 50 hours (from substantially more just a couple decades previously) before the federal reduction to 40 hours, most of the reduction was not legally required (though less restrictive legal requirements in some leading locales helped drive the reduction), and in some job fields, such as coal mining, it was already at 40 hours a week before there was any requirement for it to be.
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kmbboots
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Is it possible that some of that was attributable to unions?
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Rakeesh
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[quote]Wow that sounds like a sleazy boss!

Is it your position that, if this was legal, most employers would take this sort of stance?[/I]

Do you believe most or at least not many wouldn't? Wouldn't, that is, find some way to increase their effective labor by about 20% regularly or even occasionally for no cost? Because I sure as hell think more than a few would find a way to do that, and probably something more elegant than the hypothetical here, hey bub work for free for ten hours. No, instead there would be say a line or two in employment agreements, and man it would be great to be low-end wage or salary worker in such a setting.

Because if there's one thing we can rely on, it's the general decency of human beings when it directly conflicts with their bottom line...

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
Don't internships also operate on this principle?

Actually, because of exploitation of interns, it is now required that interns either be paid OR be receiving college credit -- or both. (I don't recall if that is federal or California law.) I know, because I have to write letters for companies affirming that we are giving the student credit for their internship.

quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
Sort of the way that there are certain types of professions in CA where you can legally agree to be allowed to work through lunch, right?

They're called "exempt". [Razz] We won't discuss how rarely I take lunch.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
Don't internships also operate on this principle?

Actually, because of exploitation of interns, it is now required that interns either be paid OR be receiving college credit -- or both. (I don't recall if that is federal or California law.) I know, because I have to write letters for companies affirming that we are giving the student credit for their internship.
Yeah, I vaguely remember reading about that. So you think that the idea of internships before that change was unfair and wrong?

quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
Sort of the way that there are certain types of professions in CA where you can legally agree to be allowed to work through lunch, right?

They're called "exempt". [Razz] We won't discuss how rarely I take lunch.
Heh. [Smile] So, I was referring to the certain jobs that are laid out in the labor code as exceptions, where it's not practical to take 30 minutes off for lunch so they let you sign a form and agree you won't. I don't recall which professions this is, but I know there are some special exceptions.

But yeah, of course, there's also a whole section of employees that can be exploited by denying them lunch and asking them to work extra hours for no extra pay and so forth. And yet somehow these jobs are frequently more desirable! So clearly the possibility of being exploited in this way is not the sole concern of whether or not a job is worth taking...

quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
When it was legal here, they certainly did. Where is it still legal, they certainly do. It happens plenty with exempt workers who don't have those legal protections. You never heard of people working a 60 hour week?

Sure. Some companies do, some don't. And in lots of cases they do sometimes. Put in extra hours when there is a need, don't when there isn't.

Conversely, there are plenty of companies that provide more perks than they, strictly speaking, have to. Some companies, for example, with more generous OT policies than are mandated. There are companies in right-to-work states that do pay OT for working over 8 hours. And it's extremely common for companies to have more generous paid breaks than are required by law.


The point I'm driving at is that there is variation based on each business and their needs. I don't think this is a bad thing.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
So you think that the idea of internships before that change was unfair and wrong?

I think there were many documented cases of internships being abused by companies as a way to get free labor. Why do you think the rules changed?
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
So you think that the idea of internships before that change was unfair and wrong?

I think there were many documented cases of internships being abused by companies as a way to get free labor. Why do you think the rules changed?
Because there were many documented cases of interns who were essentially used to do the same labor as paid staffers. (I'm pretty sure I just said the same thing as you but rephrased. Do you agree? If I missed something, let me know.)

Anyway, this upset people who would have otherwise had those paid staffer positions. This also upset some interns who realized after the fact that the movie they worked on made a lot of money and easily could have afforded to pay them the same as the paid staffers they worked alongside. They felt cheated.

And yet... lots of people still wanted to get internships! They felt that their professional prospects would improve by doing so, and that was more important to them than being paid.

The previously used definition of exploitation by employers breaks down here, by the way. Because I'm pretty sure there's really no way one can argue that they need the job to survive... it's not paying them at all! So they'd be free to quit if they felt like the reward wasn't worth the effort. And if nobody was willing to take their place, then unpaid internships would vanish all on their own.

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Samprimary
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Internships used to be the best racket in town. Our newspaper lived on the poor young guys, replete with dangling employment opportunities that, of course, never materialized. Twas a pretty classic example of exploitative labor practices, oh joy.

quote:
Because if there's one thing we can rely on, it's the general decency of human beings when it directly conflicts with their bottom line...
Doesn't even have to have anything to do with decency. The free market does not concern itself with decency, it concerns itself with profit. If the nature of profit in a given industry rewards those who dispense with "decency," then it self-selects decent bosses out of that industry. No too hard to reach a point of "If my competitor ain't giving his employees lunchtime, I can't afford to give you that either."
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Internships used to be the best racket in town. Our newspaper lived on the poor young guys, replete with dangling employment opportunities that, of course, never materialized. Twas a pretty classic example of exploitative labor practices, oh joy.

Could you explain what I missed in my above post?

Also your mention of dangling vanishing employment in front of them reminds me: Intern Nation is a book about how bad internships are. He gives two core reasons for why internships were unfair and bad. One was that they dangled nonexistent jobs in front of interns and cycled through them to have indefinite free labor. The other was that internships unfairly punished poor people who could not afford to go an extended amount of time without working, and so all of the good jobs that internships led to were closed off to the poor.

It seems to me that these two reasons are really really obviously contradictory. But maybe it's just a bad book, I'unno.

quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Because if there's one thing we can rely on, it's the general decency of human beings when it directly conflicts with their bottom line...
Doesn't even have to have anything to do with decency. The free market does not concern itself with decency, it concerns itself with profit. If the nature of profit in a given industry rewards those who dispense with "decency," then it self-selects decent bosses out of that industry. No too hard to reach a point of "If my competitor ain't giving his employees lunchtime, I can't afford to give you that either."
Unless you want to lure the best employees away from that competitor...
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
Really? That's how you're going to portray that quote?

If I am not portraying that quote to be a statement you intended, you're being unclear.

quote:
I'm not saying that making X practice illegal doesn't, in some cases, keep people from screwing over their employees via X practice. Of course it does! Many employers will stop using X practice to screw over their employees.
Good. Exactly this. Making exploitative practices that screw over employees illegal does prevent many employees from being screwed over by that practice. I know you had some sort of a caveat buried to that in here:

quote:
Of course, some employers will find ways to disregard the law and still screw over their employes via X practice (like people employing under-the-table low wage workers whose job is fundamentally illegal and so they have little recourse against an employer who happens to be breaking another law by utilizing X practice... you know, the poorest of the poor people who these laws are always ostensibly supposed to protect)

More importantly, law-abiding employers can still screw over their employees via Y practice, or Z practice. And in the mean time, by making practice X illegal you also hinder good, law-abiding employers and employees who simply think that their working arrangement would be better if they utilized practice X.

... but it honestly makes no sense, least if it is supposed to offer a rebuttal or a caveat to the productivity of those laws. I read it over two times.

quote:
PS: Sam is there some reason you feel the need to ask me "where I got this idea" every time we talk?
Yes. Your notions did not originate in a vacuum. From what narratives they originate from is often incredibly important to discern when it comes to discussing your beliefs on government and industry, and this has been demonstrated multiple times. For instance, to what extent are there any governmental regulations on industry and employment that you would argue for?
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
Really? That's how you're going to portray that quote?

If I am not portraying that quote to be a statement you intended, you're being unclear.
I thought it was clear that I was saying making a particular practice illegal did not stop people from trying to gain an advantage over their employees/employer via an infinite number of other practices. Sorry I was unclear! [Smile]

quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
I'm not saying that making X practice illegal doesn't, in some cases, keep people from screwing over their employees via X practice. Of course it does! Many employers will stop using X practice to screw over their employees.
Good. Exactly this. Making exploitative practices that screw over employees illegal does prevent many employees from being screwed over by that practice. I know you had some sort of a caveat buried to that in here:

quote:
Of course, some employers will find ways to disregard the law and still screw over their employes via X practice (like people employing under-the-table low wage workers whose job is fundamentally illegal and so they have little recourse against an employer who happens to be breaking another law by utilizing X practice... you know, the poorest of the poor people who these laws are always ostensibly supposed to protect)

More importantly, law-abiding employers can still screw over their employees via Y practice, or Z practice. And in the mean time, by making practice X illegal you also hinder good, law-abiding employers and employees who simply think that their working arrangement would be better if they utilized practice X.

... but it honestly makes no sense, least if it is supposed to offer a rebuttal or a caveat to the productivity of those laws. I read it over two times.

Okay, so, I'll try to simplify it I guess.

Working through lunch is seen by some people as good and some people as bad. Banning working through lunch to protect the people who see it as bad is not necessarily the best solution to the situation.

Here's an analogy:

Removing the appendix reduces the chance of dying from a burst appendix to zero. This does not necessarily mean that removing appendices preemptively is a good idea.

I hope that's simple enough.

quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
PS: Sam is there some reason you feel the need to ask me "where I got this idea" every time we talk?
Yes. Your notions did not originate in a vacuum. From what narratives they originate from is often incredibly important to discern when it comes to discussing your beliefs on government and industry, and this has been demonstrated multiple times. For instance, to what extent are there any governmental regulations on industry and employment that you would argue for?
How has it been demonstrated multiple times? I know you've said it multiple times, but you haven't actually given a reason. You just say that it's really important to know what narrative informed my opinions, full stop. Why? So that you can attack the "narrative" instead of what I have said?

I would say I don't want to play along, but I suppose I don't actually care, if that's really what you want to do.


So, warning: Everything in this post that follows is random personal crap totally unrelated to the topic at hand, and will probably be really freaking boring. If you feel you must comment, I'm not going to be offended or anything (I wouldn't post it if I cared about keeping it private) but it's extraordinarily meta to the actual conversations at hand, which I generally find more interesting and am more likely to respond to.

Also I may change my mind about the privacy issue when I wake up tomorrow. Who knows.

So, to attempt to answer your question, I suppose my views on "government and industry" have been evolving for roughly the last decade, sparked originally by conversations with David Deutsch and a few mutual friends. They're the ones that really obliterated my previous worldview, I'd say, but they didn't really insert their own except in a very broad sense. I mean, we were more focused on philosophy than politics per se for a lot of those discussions. The single most significant influence on me in regard to the philosophy we discussed would be Karl Popper, though a good friend of mine was extremely interested in William Godwin and Edmund Burke, and a lot of his arguments with me stemmed from their writing as well.

But anyway, from there, I suppose my influences have been really numerous. I think a lot of (in)famous conservative/libertarian thinkers (people like Friedman, Hitchens, Mises, Sowell, O'Rourke, Will, etc... I'm sure there are lots more I have neglected here) have had a lot of interesting stuff to say, but I would never call any of them pivotal or outstandingly influential on me. Sometimes I think they say something spot-on, sometimes I disagree.

In terms of, say, where I get my news, I pretty much just read whatever catches my interest. I don't have cable TV so I don't watch any regular news channel... in terms of the mainstream news outlets the one I watch most often is probably the Daily Show (but even then it's not a weekly thing for me). I disagree with Stewart on a million things but I like a lot of what he has to say about the mainstream media outlets.

I'm not sure what else you want, Sam. How will this help you actually discuss what I say, as opposed to (I assume) trying to tear down some pundit that I sometimes find insightful?

Similarly, how does my opinion of "any regulation" pertain to the discussion of this particular regulation? Even if I was batshit Ron Paul level crazy and wanted to remove all regulations tomorrow, if I gave a good argument for removing one regulation then wouldn't it still be worth getting rid of that one before you ignored me? I'm sure you don't think I've done even that, but why not focus your discussion to the particular argument I'm giving? (Yes I know I've gotten tangled in like 3 or 4 arguments here but that's because people keep going off in the weeds to ask my opinion of unrelated regulations.)

I want to engage with you in good faith and take your arguments seriously, but it's kind of frustrating when it seems like you're more interested in attacking me than what I've said. I know your stance on ad hominem is that it's sometimes necessary because you need to attack where the person is getting their ideas and not just the ideas themselves (at least I think it was you that said that)... but I think I fundamentally disagree.

So yeah. Whiny personal snoozefest over. Hope we can get back to the actual discussions at hand now, they were a lot more interesting.

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Samprimary
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quote:
How has it been demonstrated multiple times? I know you've said it multiple times, but you haven't actually given a reason. You just say that it's really important to know what narrative informed my opinions, full stop. Why?
Because something like four or five times before, understanding it let me understand why you were taking the position you were taking, what it represented, what larger thing it's part of. The biggest issue at the fore (for nothing more than my own curiosity and desire to present my own viewpoint, too, it's not like I have any big expectations to sway you to supporting these workplace regulations) comes with the issue of what's consequentialist and what's really ultimately not. So, obviously, questions result.

Like to ask: assuming you are against workplace lunchtime regulation now and would remove it given the chance, let's say we got ourselves a magic sociology crystal ball and used it to test the idea of removing workplace lunch break regulations, and the result (independent of and consistent through other variables) in a situation where workers in entire industries had no lunch break as absolutely standard practice and were much more miserable and died earlier (in short, lower quality of life index) with no overall increase in productivity — essentially allowing the conclusion that the lack of regulation created a maladaptive business response — would you consequentialize and support the regulation, or would you stick by a non-consequential position that the regulation is immoral nonetheless, because it's not government's place to do these things to make things more 'fair' or 'comfortable' for workers at the cost of employers' rights?

The answer to this question from someone against workplace regulation is about the most important thing (alongside from where the deontology originates in the rightness or wrongness of various roles of government) to use for discussion or argumentative framing, because it gets right down to whether or not there's a point in trying to work on a position of arguing whether it helps to have government protect, well, any of these things. From lunchtimes, wheelchair accessibility, workplace safety standards, fire exits, to preventing the exclusion of racial minorities.

quote:
I'm not sure what else you want, Sam. How will this help you actually discuss what I say, as opposed to (I assume) trying to tear down some pundit that I sometimes find insightful?
You misunderstand. Wanting to know where the notion of disliking a particular regulation is perfectly valid. It's like asking "Do you dislike this regulation because of something you know about business? Some sort of report or study or opinion piece on whether or not it works? Some idea that things would be better without it? Is it more just sort of a gut assumption or a requirement of a certain moral view?"

quote:
Similarly, how does my opinion of "any regulation" pertain to the discussion of this particular regulation?
See above. Whether or not someone holds a moral or consequential standpoint that no or nearly no governmental regulation on your boss is permissable is important to the argument.

quote:
I want to engage with you in good faith and take your arguments seriously, but it's kind of frustrating when it seems like you're more interested in attacking me than what I've said. I know your stance on ad hominem is that it's sometimes necessary because you need to attack where the person is getting their ideas and not just the ideas themselves (at least I think it was you that said that)... but I think I fundamentally disagree.
Whether or not this is my, uh, 'excuse' for when I do attack others personally, you can stop thinking of this as an assault on Dan Underscore Frank The Person just because I like to know the expanded narratives behind disliking government regulation of *a* business practice or government regulation of *any* business practice. If it still frustrates you, well, there's always the advice you gave orincoro on much the same matter.
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Samprimary
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quote:
If it still frustrates you, well, there's always the advice you gave orincoro on much the same matter.
"But wait," says hatrack, "shouldn't Dan enjoy getting needled persistently about his beliefs for the fifth consecutive day?"
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MrSquicky
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quote:

Also your mention of dangling vanishing employment in front of them reminds me: Intern Nation is a book about how bad internships are. He gives two core reasons for why internships were unfair and bad. One was that they dangled nonexistent jobs in front of interns and cycled through them to have indefinite free labor. The other was that internships unfairly punished poor people who could not afford to go an extended amount of time without working, and so all of the good jobs that internships led to were closed off to the poor.

It seems to me that these two reasons are really really obviously contradictory. But maybe it's just a bad book, I'unno.

errr...I'd say that those two reasons are really obviously not contradictory to anyone who gave it more than a surface consideration. I'd be interested in your thought process in determining otherwise.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
And yet... lots of people still wanted to get internships! They felt that their professional prospects would improve by doing so, and that was more important to them than being paid.

Which is well and good when it's true. And blatant exploitation when it is not.

Are you ok with bait-and-switch advertising of cars? If not, how is this different?

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kmbboots
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Dan, after rereading your posts I get the impression that you think that the employer and employee are negotiating from places of equal power. That either is just as free and able to walk away from the transaction. Is this a correct impression?
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pooka
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quote:
Originally posted by vegimo:
quote:
Smiley said her job had became so stressful that she suffered a stroke and was off work for almost three months, beginning July 13, 2009, according to the court filing.
I would guess that this played into the decision to fire her as well. She had already suffered a stroke that was apparently caused in part by the stress of the job. She was refusing to take a break even though she was told to do so by her employer. Did they feel she adding to her own stress level again? Did they not want to take that risk?
Seems like a lot of people replying in this thread haven't read the article, or totally failed to appreciate that she had taken 3 of the prior 6 months off for medical reasons she attributed to the stressful nature of her job. Anyway, she was merely awarded unemployment, she did not win a wrongful termination suit.
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pooka
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Kate, the essence of at will employment does assume that the employee and the employer are at equal footing legally, that each derives benefits from maintaining the relationship.
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Rakeesh
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Which is silly, in my opinion. Overall the two groups-employees and employers-do have very similar levels of power. But in individual cases? You're likely in so many jobs to have an employer who can quickly find a replacement for a worker who doesn't do the work, whether it's extra unofficial work or it's work that was clearly agreed to up front. The employee there has very little power-easily replaced and so not especially valued.

In other cases, such as with lots of small businesses which are often only marginally profitable, the employer may really really need an occasional unforeseen extra bit of work from their employees, to bridge some emergency gap. They cannot fire the employee for refusal, since they have neither the time nor the resources to get past the initial low-productivity training period, if they can find a replacement quickly at all.

Which leads to the need for employers and groups of employees needing to find some way to negotiate in advance rather than manage crises by the seat of their pants...

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kmbboots
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Generally, if an employer needs an employee to work extra hours in a crisis and the employee is willing, that is legally fine. If the employer pays for it. In the originally case, the employer made the call that the work was not so urgent that they wanted to pay overtime to get it done immediately.
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MrSquicky
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quote:
Originally posted by pooka:
Kate, the essence of at will employment does assume that the employee and the employer are at equal footing legally, that each derives benefits from maintaining the relationship.

That's only if you include the overall environment of regulations and such that this takes place in (such as the 40 hour work week we're discussing here).

The employee/employer power balance can swing back and forth depending on many factors, most of which factor into how easy it is to get someone else to do the job. Most of the time, especially when we are talking about lower skilled (and usually lower educated) workers, it is very easy to replace them and this has historically (and in the current day, as well - look at Foxcomm) led to extremely poor treatment of the worker, which has in turn engendered efforts to curb the employers overwhelming power by proscribing aspects of this relationship.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Kate, the essence of at will employment does assume that the employee and the employer are at equal footing legally, that each derives benefits from maintaining the relationship.
This is precisely why "at-will employment" is such a ridiculous, pro-employer boondoggle.
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