Re: Professional associations and dues

Subject: Re: Professional associations and dues
From: Dick Margulis <ampersandvirgule -at- WORLDNET -dot- ATT -dot- NET>
Date: Mon, 6 Apr 1998 21:06:27 -0400


In response to your first question, I think it would be typical for an
employer to pay dues in professional organizations in the case of
full-time, so-called permanent employees. I also think (without checking
survey data to confirm) that most tech writers, possibly most STC
members, are contractors or consultants, not employees, and therefore
pay their own dues. I'm also sure that whether the employer does in fact
pay varies from company to company and reflects to some extent the
degree to which the company values the contributions made by tech

With regard to your second question, I don't know whether there have
been such cases; but it seems we should have a pretty good defense. In
the first place, everything we write is work for hire and belongs to the
company we write it for. Second, everything we right is at least in
principle reviewed and approved by the owner's authorized representative
(managment and/or SMEs). Third, who would be dumb enough to sue a poor
writer when there is a manufacturer with deep pockets standing right
there <g>?


Rowena Hart wrote:
> A general question:
> When I was working as a science writer in the forest industry, my
> co-workers' yearly association dues (R.P.F., R.P.Bio., P.Geo. etc.) were
> paid for by our employer because membership in these associations provided
> some measure of the individual's scientific knowledge, and it brought
> prestige and legal protection to the company/individual.
> I am curious about whether most technical writers on the list have their
> membership dues in the STC (or any other professional association) paid for
> by their employer? What benefit is there for an employer to pay the
> writer's membership dues?
> Also -- just a thought that comes to mind -- are there any cases of
> technical writers being sued for their work, similar to the way that
> journalists can be sued for shoddy reporting or libel? Or perhaps more
> specifically (in the highly litigious environment of the U.S.) for writing
> an installation guide that leads an unwitting user to injury? Just curious.
> Cheers,
> Rowena
> ---------------------
> Rowena Hart
> Technical Writer
> Intrinsyc Software, Inc.

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