RE: Tech Writer Lawsuit; STC position? (take II)

Subject: RE: Tech Writer Lawsuit; STC position? (take II)
From: ant -at- ant-davey -dot- com
To: <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: <DGoldstein -at- riverainmedical -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 21 May 2008 20:50:30 +0200

Geoff raises one good point here, which is that taking a stance on this could be considered political lobbying. A lawyer will never give you a full answer, it would cost too much and 'teach you everything he knew', however there may be other reasons behind this.

Many of you are not yet privy to the content of the proposed STC Articles of Association of and joint agreement between the organisation and its non-US-based Chapters, which it wants to become incorporated bodies, mostly to satisfy the IRS.

One of proposed terms of incorporation is that a Chapter have charitable status, and that it not participate in political lobbying. Like Geoff I'm a foreigner (and have lived in Canada), so I'm not familiar with the detail of US law, however I suspect that this will be a test case that has the potential to set precedent and change the (interpretation of, at least) US law. To that extent, having a position could be seen as lobbying, which would affect STC's charitable status. So not expressing an opinion is merely compliance with a law that the STC is subject to either under New York or US Federal law. But like I said, I'm only guessing.

Regards,
Ant

Dan Goldstein wondered: <<Even if they *weren't* in financial
trouble, would STC help establish technical writers' legal rights?
Maybe they just don't want to be that kind of professional
association.>>

Just to clarify: I was in no way advocating that STC should step in
as a lobbyist; in this particular case, it's not clear whether
advocating to promote paid overtime is a good thing (i.e., it defends
the rights of technical writers) or a bad thing (i.e., it gives
companies one more reason to cut costs by offshoring). Companies
could jump either way, and it would be a bad thing for STC to be seen
as promoting a position that leads to more offshoring if they guessed
wrong. That's probably the real reason why STC is staying clear of
this mess.
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