Enter your email address and start getting breaking law firm and legal news right now!
This Little Case Can Change the Way Work is Done Today
The Internet has changed the way work is done, ushering in virtual workplaces, instant globalization and upheavals in the labor market of the kind that was quite unforeseen. Online workplaces and marketplaces for labor like oDesk and freelance boards have mushroomed all across pressing quality workers to the wall.
And people confident that they can’t outbid others in quality invariably quote lower rates in online markets leading to companies, who require repetitive tasks done, to hire workers at pitiable rates.
Globalization and global rates have their effects everywhere in the world, and the drops in rates for human work have become so pitiable that a crowdsourcing company, CrowdFlower Inc. has been sued in federal court for paying $2 to $3 an hour to US-based Internet workers.
Littler Mendelson is defending the employer prove $2 to $3 per hour is perfectly alright for workers in a virtual workplace as they cannot be termed as employees but as independent contractors, and cannot be made subject to federal minimum wage laws.
However, the plaintiffs contend that it is the level of control, monitoring and supervision that matters in a world of work where working from home and in office is getting blurred every day.
The plaintiffs contend that on part of the defendants this is an effort to bypass federal minimum wage laws and attorney Mark Potashnick said, “If the defense is ultimately successful in winning this case, it will have a profound impact on America’s wages in any job that can be moved from a permanent facility to on-line.”
And the new threat that the plaintiffs including Potashnick and co-counsel firms in Pittsburgh and Los Angeles see is that if CrowdFlower is successful, then a lot of jobs that pay $15 living wages an hour can be shifted to online work by paying $2 to $3 an hour. And this would be done without outsourcing entering the equation but by roundly skirting federal minimum wage laws.
U.S. District Judge Jon S. Tiger has ruled that there is enough evidence in the case to proceed as a collective action.