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It's getting tougher to hire a "permalancer" all the time, due, in part,
to the Microsoft suit.
There are a number of companies, though that have a large number of
"part time" employees, which allows them to dodge benefit and salary
agreements they have with (typically, but not always, union) full
timers. UPS, FedEx, and almost all retail outfits operate like this.
I listen to NPR regularly, value it greatly, enjoy it immensely, but
they get things wrong as often the the for-profit news sector
(especially in the business arena).
While I would agree that permalancers and part timers don't get as good
a deal as they might otherwise, I'm not sure I would characterize the
practice as "underhanded." Anyone accepting such a position would likely
understand it, and agree to it. This is, of course, different than
reveling in it, I know.
Choices -- you always have choices.
Signed, a manager that understands the link between good, relatively
happy employees and the bottom line ;-}
From: Sam Beard [mailto:sbeard -at- oico -dot- com]
Sent: Thursday, January 24, 2008 3:36 PM
To: Fred Ridder
Cc: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: RE: employment law, overtime
Fred and Others,
I wasn't aware of the Microsoft case (I was either still in school or
serving in the Air Force at the time, so I didn't follow such things),
but the NPR story made it out as something that is picking up steam and
popularity with companies. Perhaps they've discovered some loophole that
allows them to do this now? It certainly seems a rather underhanded way
of doing business and shows a definite lack of concern for employees,
IMHO. But, then again, mayhaps that's why I'm not a manager! ;-P
Samuel I. Beard, Jr.
979 690-1711 Ext. 222
sbeard -at- oico -dot- com
From: Fred Ridder [mailto:docudoc -at- hotmail -dot- com]
Sent: Thursday, January 24, 2008 12:18 PM
To: Sam Beard
Subject: RE: employment law, overtime
Some states have had major crack-downs on this because a few big
companies were seriously abusing the practice. For a number of
years, it was virtually standard policy at Microsoft untile the
State Labor Commission stomped on them. And the size and visibility
of the Microsoft case led to a lot of other states following
lead (payroll and unemployment taxes were at stake) and also to the
IRS paying a lot more attention to people claiming self-employment
> Subject: RE: employment law, overtime
> Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2008 11:01:02 -0600
> From: sbeard -at- oico -dot- com
> To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Related to this discussion is a news story I heard on NPR last night
> on the way home. Apparently, an emerging trend among some businesses
> "hiring" an employee as a "permalancer". This means the employee is
> brought on full-time to the company, but without many (or all) of the
> benefits of a regular full-time employee and some of the disadvantages
> of a freelancer. They interviewed someone that was hired on as a
> "permalancer" copywriter at an ad agency, but was given lower benefits
> and pay, along with the decreased level of job security (such as it is
> anyway) of a regular full-time employee. The report cited among the
> benefits to the companies as lower health insurance and worker's
> compensation costs, as well as no responsibilities for unemployment
> payments if they have to let the employee go for some reason. All of
> this sounds like, to me, another way that businesses are only paying
> attention to the bottom line and not to how the people that help them
> achieve that bottom line are being treated to get there.
> Just thought I'd throw that out there for discussion.
> Have a great day, one and all!
> Samuel I. Beard, Jr.
> Technical Writer
> OI Analytical
> 979 690-1711 Ext. 222
> sbeard -at- oico -dot- com
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