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(The Morning Call)   Amazon.com's temporary staffing firm fights to keep warehouse workers from collecting unemployment benefits   (mcall.com) divider line 98
    More: Interesting, staffing firm, unemployment compensation, Lehigh Valley, Rosemarie Fritchman, long-term stability, wage earners, workers, fights  
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7385 clicks; posted to Main » on 18 Dec 2012 at 10:37 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-18 11:40:45 AM  

Another Government Employee: bhcompy: While I know Amazon has a documented history of these kind of problems, I find it strange that temporary employment contracts are eligible for unemployment benefits(or even pay in to unemployment insurance). I guess the fact that it does should be a disincentive towards hiring temporary labor, which is a positive effect(if it results in permanent hirings, at least).

In Georgia, the temp has to earn a minimum of $3,300 on a position to be eligible. It is not unheard of here to cut people off as they approach $3,000.


Here there's a minimum amount of hours you must have worked, and they calculate your benefits based on average weekly hours, so if your boss is a real douchebag and tries to force you to quit by reducing your hours/shifts, it negatively affects the amount of benefits you get.

/how the hell is a person supposed to live on 504 a month? Thanks a lot former boss asshole...
//one good thing, he got shiatcanned a week after he fired me for being such a douche
 
2012-12-18 11:40:53 AM  

padraig: What does companies fight againt worker's unemployment claims ? Does that come out of their pocket, in your country ?


You pay a higher unemployment tax if you have a bunch of workers that go on unemployment. Generally its one of the reasons people get a severance when they are let go but even then it's usually more trouble than it's worth to try to fight an unemployment claim. However I can see that if you had build an internal system dedicated to fighting unemployment claims it might be cost effective. Especially since the process involves both the employer and the employee coming in for at least a brief hearing. Now if someone is injured and they are poor it makes it much less likely that they will even show up...
 
2012-12-18 11:41:10 AM  

Whiskey Dickens: majestic: Now, I don't know about this particular program or staffing company. I have stopped even bidding on bottom dollar contracts. Too much work for too little profit. Also, unlike many of our competitors, we DO offer our employees benefits such as vacation, holiday, health insurance, dental, vision, etc. While we typically have temp-to-perm programs to transition employees to our clients after 90 days, if they stay on longer than that, we give raises on our own dime.

You guys sound pretty enlightened. Would you be comfortable sharing the name of your agency?


I'm not the authorized media release guy, so I really can't. We have 55 offices, mostly in the southeast part of the country.
 
2012-12-18 11:50:33 AM  

Egoy3k: I'm willing to bet real money that there were many other workers who were working on the same day in the same area and experienced the same 'brutal heat' without any ill effects. I'm not suggesting that she is being dishonest about her problems but the question remains if she cannot do the job which she was hired to do why would them firing her be a bad thing?


You must have missed the whistle-blowing articles that came out this past Summer about Amazon werehouses. They seal them up to prevent theft and don't provide any type of adequate cooling so pretty much you're working in an environment where it's hotter than it is outside during the Summer months. They park ambulances outside the place to attend to people that do get exhaustion and end up counting it agaisnt the person if they didn't come back in to work. They tried to get OSHA to get envolved but they don't have the power to make the warehouses comply.

The reason why you're saving money at Amazon is because they keep their operating costs so low they make Walmart jealous, which in turn obviously ends up screwing the people that are actually involved in the shipping process. And contracting with businesses that put forth an extra effort to make sure workers don't get benefits is really no suprise. They're the online version of Walmart as far as how they see their blue-collar payroll as an expense that eats into sales.
 
2012-12-18 11:50:42 AM  

trappedspirit: you have pee hands: If feel the need to put "Integrity" in your company name, you probably don't have any.

Right. And if anyone mentions they deliver a high quality product they probably don't. And if a grocery store has to say they have a wide selection of products, they probably don't. Basically if any company says anything positive about themselves they must be lying.


Their original choice was shiatty Temps, but they couldn't get licensed with that name.
 
2012-12-18 11:53:10 AM  

dopekitty74: Skirl Hutsenreiter: padraig: What does companies fight againt worker's unemployment claims ? Does that come out of their pocket, in your country ?

Employer pays, and their rates are set based on their claims. TFA says it varies from ~2-10%. So an employer who's always hiring and firing pays significantly more than one that rarely fires without cause. Thus the incentive to keep down the number of claims.

How about not firing people for stupid reasons? I'm sorry, but the woman mentioned in the article was let go because she became ill. Isn't it illegal to fire people for illness based absences?


If she provided medical evidence of an illness necessitating her absence, yes, it would be illegal to hire her. But they can put her on a medical leave of absence without pay. She was a temp worker and they don't get many benefits. It sounds like her employer is a herd of dicks, since they are involved in hundreds of disputes each year.

Get used to it folks. If labor doesn't get stronger, more and more companies are going to outsource to staffing agencies, who will fill jobs with temporary employees, who have few rights. No one can argue that unions went to far and became their own worst enemies, but they do serve a purpose.
 
2012-12-18 11:56:00 AM  

dopekitty74: Skirl Hutsenreiter: padraig: What does companies fight againt worker's unemployment claims ? Does that come out of their pocket, in your country ?

Employer pays, and their rates are set based on their claims. TFA says it varies from ~2-10%. So an employer who's always hiring and firing pays significantly more than one that rarely fires without cause. Thus the incentive to keep down the number of claims.

How about not firing people for stupid reasons? I'm sorry, but the woman mentioned in the article was let go because she became ill. Isn't it illegal to fire people for illness based absences?


She has one documented absence. What explains the rest?
 
2012-12-18 11:58:46 AM  

mgshamster: Egoy3k: I'm willing to bet real money that there were many other workers who were working on the same day in the same area and experienced the same 'brutal heat' without any ill effects.

Humans are different. We're not all alike. Someone who is old enough to type on a computer should have realized this by now. People are affected by abnormal conditions differently. The reason why she experienced heat illness and her coworkers did not is the same reason why some people get a cold and others do not, or why some people can handle alcohol better than others.


Do you honestly think I hadn't addressed this? I clearly stated in the next sentence that I don't think she is being dishonest about her problems.

I'm not suggesting that she is being dishonest about her problems but the question remains if she cannot do the job which she was hired to do why would them firing her be a bad thing?

This depends on whether the company had any policy in place for providing the employees water OR allowing them to drink water at their work station if they don't have water stations nearby and don't allow employees to leave to get water. If they didn't, then not only should she not lose her job, the company should be sued for violating OSHA standards. Also, it's illegal to fire someone because they have a medical condition (such as sensitivity to heat), although this might be a state-by-state thing rather than federal.


So you mean to tell me that if I owned a steel mill and hired a young seemingly healthy individual to work in my steel mill only to find out that they have a 'medical condition' (such as sensitivity to heat) that I could not fire them? So what do I do instead, turn off the ovens? If a taxi driver was no longer able to see well enough to operate a taxi would it be illegal for him to lose his job?

I make no claims as to the working conditions in the warehouse. If they are unsafe as per OSHA standards then I agree completely that the situation must be addressed. If they are not then the conditions within the warehouse are part of the job and as such inability to perform your duties in those conditions is failure to perform your duties. I'm not trying to be hardhearted here, I'm simply stating that not everyone can do every job. I don't ask the 60 year old woman who does fine detailed hand work out to manhandle huge pieces of product on the shipping floor. I also don't ask the 20 year old shipper built like a longshoreman in to do fine detail work.
 
2012-12-18 12:03:47 PM  

JackieRabbit: So after a month, when I called him to ask why he hadn't reported for work and he called me a "honky bastard," I canned him.


This would be awesome if he was white.
 
2012-12-18 12:10:59 PM  
Awesome. Another article from the area of PA where I grew up. The Lehigh Valley is the Mos Eisley of Pennsylvania.
 
2012-12-18 12:11:15 PM  

trappedspirit: Mmmhmm. It's so especially obvious that they must be using some kind of reverse backwards psychology on us. I'd go so far as to say that Wells Fargo isn't full of wells.


How droll.
 
2012-12-18 12:13:38 PM  

SuperDuper28: You must have missed the whistle-blowing articles that came out this past Summer about Amazon werehouses.


I did miss them.

They tried to get OSHA to get envolved but they don't have the power to make the warehouses comply

Well then that's ridiculous. I sorry my knowledge of OSHA is very limited. I have done the OSHA 10 hour course but it was quite some time ago and it was never relevant to me. I do business in Canada. We have numerous avenues for workers to air safety and ethics concerns that are not limited in any way by the type of business being done.
 
2012-12-18 12:29:16 PM  

padraig: What does companies fight againt worker's unemployment claims ? Does that come out of their pocket, in your country ?


Because they are assholes and they want to do it simply out of spite.
 
2012-12-18 12:32:02 PM  

dopekitty74: Skirl Hutsenreiter: padraig: What does companies fight againt worker's unemployment claims ? Does that come out of their pocket, in your country ?

Employer pays, and their rates are set based on their claims. TFA says it varies from ~2-10%. So an employer who's always hiring and firing pays significantly more than one that rarely fires without cause. Thus the incentive to keep down the number of claims.

How about not firing people for stupid reasons? I'm sorry, but the woman mentioned in the article was let go because she became ill. Isn't it illegal to fire people for illness based absences?


What are you, some labor union commie? Don't you know that if a business fires you because you sneeze that is the business's God-given right, and you should be honored as an American to starve?
 
2012-12-18 12:38:51 PM  
I feel for her, but she was working for a temp agency. She has no reason to expect unemployment - that's the nature of a temp agency. You work where you're needed, when you're needed. She took a temporary position; she could no longer work at said position; she was let go from the position.

I'm sure the working conditions were shiatty. That's an entirely separate issue that does need to be addressed. It still doesn't mean she deserves unemployment.
 
2012-12-18 12:39:09 PM  

Egoy3k: So you mean to tell me that if I owned a steel mill and hired a young seemingly healthy individual to work in my steel mill only to find out that they have a 'medical condition' (such as sensitivity to heat) that I could not fire them? So what do I do instead, turn off the ovens? If a taxi driver was no longer able to see well enough to operate a taxi would it be illegal for him to lose his job?


You would move them to a different position or make accommodations for them to be able to maintain their work. In the case of the steel mill, make sure they drink lots of water (that fixes the heat sensitivity problem in most cases), or move them to an office position or some other position that has less heat. Discrimination is a pretty big deal in the US, and there are lots of laws to either prevent it or provide compensation. As for the taxi, I'm sure they wouldn't be fired to being unable to see. They'd be fired for a failure to maintain their drivers license.

Let us take this a step further. Let's pretend that it is completely legal for a company to fire a person because of a medical condition. What happens when a woman gets pregnant? She can no longer do her job (depending on the job), so now it is legal for the company to just fire her (and there goes any medical benefits she needed for the pregnancy). But if it's legal to fire people for that, why wouldn't it be legal to simply not hire them in the first place? We'd get to a point where 50% of our population wouldn't be hired because they might get pregnant. Think this might be a slippery slope fallacy? It isn't. This is how it worked in the past, and many decades of people fighting for civil rights is what brought about regulations that prevent discrimination (which, I'll note, we're still experiencing today, albeit to a lesser extent).

Egoy3k: mgshamster: Egoy3k: I'm willing to bet real money that there were many other workers who were working on the same day in the same area and experienced the same 'brutal heat' without any ill effects.

Humans are different. We're not all alike. Someone who is old enough to type on a computer should have realized this by now. People are affected by abnormal conditions differently. The reason why she experienced heat illness and her coworkers did not is the same reason why some people get a cold and others do not, or why some people can handle alcohol better than others.

Do you honestly think I hadn't addressed this? I clearly stated in the next sentence that I don't think she is being dishonest about her problems.


Your statement was that other workers were able to handle it. The underlying question that follows is "...so why can't she?" Your following statement even alluded to that, as you claimed that because she couldn't, she shouldn't work.
 
2012-12-18 12:40:41 PM  

RminusQ: dopekitty74: Skirl Hutsenreiter: padraig: What does companies fight againt worker's unemployment claims ? Does that come out of their pocket, in your country ?

Employer pays, and their rates are set based on their claims. TFA says it varies from ~2-10%. So an employer who's always hiring and firing pays significantly more than one that rarely fires without cause. Thus the incentive to keep down the number of claims.

How about not firing people for stupid reasons? I'm sorry, but the woman mentioned in the article was let go because she became ill. Isn't it illegal to fire people for illness based absences?

What are you, some labor union commie? Don't you know that if a business fires you because you sneeze that is the business's God-given right, and you should be honored as an American to starve?


Hell, you should be thankful that they deigned to allow you to work for the limited time that you did.
 
2012-12-18 12:43:33 PM  

Famous Thamas: The Morning Call has been after this warehouse for some time, the previous "brutal heat" episode was triggered when a local doctor filed a complaint after treating numerous people for heat exhaustion at the same time.

Previous Story

This staffing company is at every major event in the region recruiting for the warehouse, turnover there must be off the charts.

Also, in PA it is a matter of course that your former employer will fight your unemployment claims. Sometimes they might just put up a token effort, or offer a settlement, but they will not just let you file uncontested. I'm not sure if it is this way in all states, but employers get ranked based on the number of people they put on the unemployment dole. If an employer puts too many on unemployment, they start to suffer some negative tax implications.


It's certainly not that way here in CA.

It sounds like those companies should face certain tax penalties. They really aren't doing anything to help employment if they are simply a revolving door.
 
2012-12-18 12:47:37 PM  
I used to manage a hotel in Newark, DE (a stones throw from Wimlington). A third of all applicants at that hotel had experience at that warehouse. I dismissed the first couple of stories I heard about the working conditions there, but during my tenure, I ended up listening to 2 or 3 a week. I had people in my office break down in years while talking about that place. Most stories were the same. "They hire hundreds of people and work you like slaves and hope you just quit. There's no way to make the quota. In the meantime, they get cheap labor and the job gets done." Itwas pretty sad. A gre that I hired were really good people.
 
2012-12-18 12:50:58 PM  
Worked for a company, we were all contractors. Required to wear uniform, had schedule, no actual pay, 100% commission, 60 hour work weeks, travel up to 3 hours per day, no benefits, they would take money out of your commission check for random things or returned products that weren't actually returned, no unemployment if fired.

Multiple complaints have been filed in many states by many different 'contractors'. The company is still in business and I believe one of the fastest growing companies.

The lawyers get it all in class action suits and nothing in the way of criminal charges will be filed even though people have tried to get them prosecuted. What can be done to stop this kind of behavior from companies if our legal system offers little to no recourse?
 
2012-12-18 12:51:09 PM  

dopekitty74: padraig: What does companies fight againt worker's unemployment claims ? Does that come out of their pocket, in your country ?

I was wondering that too. In canada, we all pay into the Employment Insurance system via the government. Sometimes still have to fight for benefits, but not directly with the company.


Having to collect EI directly from the employer is a retarded system.
 
2012-12-18 12:58:18 PM  

padraig: What does companies fight againt worker's unemployment claims ? Does that come out of their pocket, in your country ?


I am curious, where does the money come from in your country?

In the US, it comes from taxes paid by employers.
 
2012-12-18 01:05:04 PM  

graeylin: padraig: What does companies fight againt worker's unemployment claims ? Does that come out of their pocket, in your country ?

I am curious, where does the money come from in your country?

In the US, it comes from taxes paid by employers.


Apparently, employees never pay taxes, whether they work for the government or a private company.
 
2012-12-18 01:08:43 PM  

mgshamster: graeylin: padraig: What does companies fight againt worker's unemployment claims ? Does that come out of their pocket, in your country ?

I am curious, where does the money come from in your country?

In the US, it comes from taxes paid by employers.

Apparently, employees never pay taxes, whether they work for the government or a private company.


Consumers don't pay taxes either. There are no sales taxes anywhere in the US. Nor do property owners; there is no property tax. The only money the government receives from any source is taxes paid by employers, and employers alone.
 
2012-12-18 01:16:25 PM  

mgshamster: Your statement was that other workers were able to handle it. The underlying question that follows is "...so why can't she?" Your following statement even alluded to that, as you claimed that because she couldn't, she shouldn't work.


No I very clearly stated;

I'm not suggesting that she is being dishonest about her problems but the question remains if she cannot do the job which she was hired to do why would them firing her be a bad thing?

I never said she shouldn't work, only that she shouldn't work at a job that she cannot do.


You would move them to a different position or make accommodations for them to be able to maintain their work. In the case of the steel mill, make sure they drink lots of water (that fixes the heat sensitivity problem in most cases), or move them to an office position or some other position that has less heat.

You have never owned or managed a business have you? Lets assume you make accommodations that that worker drinks lots of water as this is seemingly the most benign option. The next thing you know you have another worker upset that he didn't have a continuous fire watch after a welding job because the other worker had to go get some more water. That's a safety violation. So then you make it so they are never asked to do fire watch then you get a seniority grievance about how the new guy never gets the 'shiatty' jobs but you can't explain that he has a medical condition since that's confidential personal information. Eventually you end up paying a guy to do next to nothing, and ruin the morale of your other workers in the process.

Yes I'm exaggerating, and you are oversimplifying the 'solutions' to the problem so I think we break even. The reality is that not everyone can do every job and being employed is not a right, if you can't do your job you should look for jobs you can do.
 
2012-12-18 01:22:56 PM  

JackieRabbit: doczoidberg: Any employers who fights to stop a worker's unemployment claim in THIS economy deserves to be hanged.

Sometime it is appropriate for an employer to fight an unemployment claim. Every time a claim is filed against an employer, their insurance premium goes up. It can become very expensive. So if you have a deadbeat employee, who you must fire for cause, you shouldn't have to be on the hook for his unemployment benefit. An employer cannot file an appeal for benefits being paid because of a layoff or any not-for-cause termination.

I had to fire a guy one time because he could never finish an assignment on time and pretty much just came to work whenever he wanted. I never cared if my employees worked remotely or not, but I expected results. This clown was wasn't working when he was not in the office. He became insubordinate and hostile when I counseled him about his poor work ethic. So I gave him a week's paid vacation and told him to go think very hard about whether he wanted to continue working for the company and gave him a list of detailed list of improvements he had to make if he decided to stay. If he decided to leave, he'd get a severance payment. He decided to stay, but didn't even try to meet his remediation plan. So after a month, when I called him to ask why he hadn't reported for work and he called me a "honky bastard," I canned him. He never returned his $2500 company-owned laptop and we decided not to prosecute him for theft. But when he filed for unemployment benefits, we challenged it and won.



Well...OK.

You get exempted from the mandatory hangings.
 
2012-12-18 01:23:43 PM  
recollectionbooks.com
 
2012-12-18 01:25:39 PM  
I live 3 miles from this place. A hotbed for the Morning Call to investigate. Altho they are being lambasted for the outrage of not offering temp workers (from a staffing agency) unemployment when they announced the opening of this distro center people were commending them knowing full well the types of jobs (temporary) and working conditions (it is a warehouse in Summer). During the previous investigation on heat and working conditions as cited earlier there was a 60 year old doing just fine wondering what these young folks are complaining about. It is a warehouse in Summer. It now has huge arse AC units to cool your fat lazy ass
 
2012-12-18 01:32:12 PM  

Egoy3k: I'm not suggesting that she is being dishonest about her problems but the question remains if she cannot do the job which she was hired to do why would them firing her be a bad thing?


I agree with you. Federal law requires that any company with more that 250 employees state the physical requirements for the job in the job announcement. If an applicant accepts an offer of employment, he/she accepts the conditions of work and indicates that he/she meets the physical requirements. If he/she then claims that he/she is cannot meet those requirements, the employer is within its rights to terminate the employee. If an employee becomes disabled, the employer must make reasonable accommodations as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. If the disability is such that the employee can no longer perform his/her duties, the employer can move the employee into another suitable position, if available and the employee is qualified, but is not required to retain the employee.
 
2012-12-18 01:36:39 PM  

JackieRabbit: Egoy3k: I'm not suggesting that she is being dishonest about her problems but the question remains if she cannot do the job which she was hired to do why would them firing her be a bad thing?

I agree with you. Federal law requires that any company with more that 250 employees state the physical requirements for the job in the job announcement. If an applicant accepts an offer of employment, he/she accepts the conditions of work and indicates that he/she meets the physical requirements. If he/she then claims that he/she is cannot meet those requirements, the employer is within its rights to terminate the employee. If an employee becomes disabled, the employer must make reasonable accommodations as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. If the disability is such that the employee can no longer perform his/her duties, the employer can move the employee into another suitable position, if available and the employee is qualified, but is not required to retain the employee.


/\ THIS

The job descriptions advertised around here have specific requirements for the Amazon warehouse. Some of which include how much you need to be able to lift, etc. you aren't taking a temp job in a warehouse for the hillside view and cubicle benefits
 
2012-12-18 02:07:07 PM  

Egoy3k: mgshamster: Your statement was that other workers were able to handle it. The underlying question that follows is "...so why can't she?" Your following statement even alluded to that, as you claimed that because she couldn't, she shouldn't work.

No I very clearly stated;

I'm not suggesting that she is being dishonest about her problems but the question remains if she cannot do the job which she was hired to do why would them firing her be a bad thing?

I never said she shouldn't work, only that she shouldn't work at a job that she cannot do.


She could do the job. The job was "unloading boxes." She could do that just fine. It was the environment for which she was required to do the job that prevented her from doing it. There is no reason that an Amazon box unloader should have to work in a high heat environment; it's not like it's a steel mill or anything.

You would move them to a different position or make accommodations for them to be able to maintain their work. In the case of the steel mill, make sure they drink lots of water (that fixes the heat sensitivity problem in most cases), or move them to an office position or some other position that has less heat.

You have never owned or managed a business have you? Lets assume you make accommodations that that worker drinks lots of water as this is seemingly the most benign option. The next thing you know you have another worker upset that he didn't have a continuous fire watch after a welding job because the other worker had to go get some more water. That's a safety violation. So then you make it so they are never asked to do fire watch then you get a seniority grievance about how the new guy never gets the 'shiatty' jobs but you can't explain that he has a medical condition since that's confidential personal information. Eventually you end up paying a guy to do next to nothing, and ruin the morale of your other workers in the process.

Yes I'm exaggerating, and you are oversimplifying the 'solutions' to the problem so I think we break even. The reality is that not everyone can do every job and being employed is not a right, if you can't do your job you should look for jobs you can do.


There's definitely some give and take when finding the right fit for a job. And I wasn't oversimplifying a solution. If a person is more prone to heat illness, the solution, very plainly, is to make sure they are drinking enough water. How that is played out can vary (while I was in the army, I required those individuals to carry a canteen full of water where ever they went, especially while we were deployed in Iraq). In the situation you describe, if there are employees that have to do fire watch in a very hot environment, then switch out the watch on a more frequent basis, such as hourly or every two hours (two hours might work best since hourly workers are required to take a 10 minute break every two hours; they can switch at the break). Now you have a situation where the heat sensitive person can do that shiatty job, and employees won't complain about having to work it for long periods of time. There's always fire watch coverage, so there's no safety issue.

I've never worked at a steel mill, but I would imagine that there are plenty of other jobs the individual could work or be trained to work that didn't involve them standing right next to the molten metal. Perhaps outside working with unloading raw materials or loading finished products. Maybe driving or operating machinery (or other vehicles) involved in the process. Or maybe working in the office instead of the plant. Of course, since many companies nowadays seem to refuse to train employees, the problem might lay there.

All in all, though, if a boss can't figure out how to make it work, maybe they're not the right fit for the job, and they should be fired - legitimately. Incompetence is a perfectly good reason to fire someone.

With that, there is some leeway when it comes to hiring qualifications, so long as it is plainly stated before the individual gets hired. For example, if there is a requirement to lift so much weight (such as up to 50 lbs), then only those who can will get hired for that position. But if a person is perfectly capable of working the job, and then later they get some medical condition that makes it so they can't (perhaps a broken leg or injured back), do you really think that it's acceptable to fire them for it (assuming, of course, that the injury wasn't caused by their own incompetence at the job, in which case you're firing them for incompetence, not the injury)?
 
2012-12-18 02:10:18 PM  

Bit'O'Gristle: /Welcome to the new order, where a company won't hire you directly, but through a staffing agency. That way, no benefits paid, and you are disposable. No more working the company job, as a well paid union member. Those days are over. Now you get paid a shiat wage, for a farmed out company that doesn't give a crap about you, and will fight to make sure you get nothing, while they get everything.


Staffing agencies reduce logistics.

This part is misleading as hell though:

Part of its role is fighting to keep its workers from collecting unemployment benefits after they have lost a job at Amazon.

They don't lose their job at Amazon and that's not part of their role--not what Amazon commissions for. Amazon doesn't care how many claims these people make because it doesn't affect Amazon; ISS is a separate company. All Amazon has to do is pay an invoice, which is a single expense, rather than do a bunch of wonky accounting paying a bunch of different taxes and then trying to count that against their income etc etc.
 
2012-12-18 02:14:15 PM  

caffeine_addict: JackieRabbit: Egoy3k: I'm not suggesting that she is being dishonest about her problems but the question remains if she cannot do the job which she was hired to do why would them firing her be a bad thing?

I agree with you. Federal law requires that any company with more that 250 employees state the physical requirements for the job in the job announcement. If an applicant accepts an offer of employment, he/she accepts the conditions of work and indicates that he/she meets the physical requirements. If he/she then claims that he/she is cannot meet those requirements, the employer is within its rights to terminate the employee. If an employee becomes disabled, the employer must make reasonable accommodations as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. If the disability is such that the employee can no longer perform his/her duties, the employer can move the employee into another suitable position, if available and the employee is qualified, but is not required to retain the employee.

/\ THIS

The job descriptions advertised around here have specific requirements for the Amazon warehouse. Some of which include how much you need to be able to lift, etc. you aren't taking a temp job in a warehouse for the hillside view and cubicle benefits


Heh. I'd love to see the job description that included this information in the posting:

foxyshadis: There were stories over the last few years about how Amazon had an ambulance permanently outside of at least one of their warehouses, losing 1-5 employees from heat stroke per day, peaking at 15 on June 3, 2011. So yes, some people managed, despite being rushed too hard to even drink water, so fark the lady who fainted, right? Last summer OSHA investigated, but ultimately it sent a list of changes to make instead of fines.

 
2012-12-18 02:19:48 PM  

vrax: It sounds like those companies should face certain tax penalties. They really aren't doing anything to help employment if they are simply a revolving door.


Why not? There are a hundred new positions, even if they have different people filling them. Oh they might not be helping someone have a career as a minimum-wage warehouse monkey, but they're supplying labor and paying that labor.
 
2012-12-18 02:27:17 PM  
.

mgshamster: She could do the job. The job was "unloading boxes." She could do that just fine. It was the environment for which she was required to do the job that prevented her from doing it. There is no reason that an Amazon box unloader should have to work in a high heat environment; it's not like it's a steel mill or anything.


The Job was unloading boxes in the warehouse which is not air conditioned and is often hot.

I've never worked at a steel mill, but I would imagine that there are plenty of other jobs the individual could work or be trained to work that didn't involve them standing right next to the molten metal. Perhaps outside working with unloading raw materials or loading finished products. Maybe driving or operating machinery (or other vehicles) involved in the process. Or maybe working in the office instead of the plant. Of course, since many companies nowadays seem to refuse to train employees, the problem might lay there.

Unionized plants have a lot of rules about who gets what job. Moving people from one job to another is never easy and often impossible. You are simplifying the situation out of ignorance regarding the realities of labor management. Just one example twice now you have mentioned 'working in the office' what possible use would a steel mill have for a worker with at most high school diploma or an equivalent education in the office? Even if one could be found unless they were previously at a shortage someone in the office will have to lose their job to make room for an additional employee.

Hey Jill, how's the husband? Good, Good. Look we just found out that the new guy, Jack, down in the mill can't work in a hot environment. I'm really sorry but we're laying you off. You see mgshamster thinks it would make us evil if we fired a guy who can't do the job he was hired to do, so Jack is taking your job.
 
2012-12-18 02:28:35 PM  

padraig: What does companies fight againt worker's unemployment claims ? Does that come out of their pocket, in your country ?


LemSkroob: MisterBill: In America, companies are generally taxed at a rate that's determined by how many unemployment claims are made by their fired employees. Companies that fire a lot of people tend to fight the claims to try and keep these taxes at a lower rate.

In short, companies go into industries knowing there is a cost to do business, then tries to weasel out of that cost. got it.

It reminds me of all those articles about companies claiming "uncertainty" in the market as reasons they aren't hiring/expanding/etc. It used to be companies worked under the idea that doing business was a risk; there was always a chance it wouldn't work. Now, they expect to take in the reward, with a guarantee.

In a bigger picture, it ties into the whole "everyone gets a trophy" mentality that has been commonplace for the last 30 years. now those kids are running these companies. What a shock that they all feel a sense of entitlement and don't think they should ever lose, and everyone is 'too big to fail'


Yes it is only the upper level kids who have the entitled mind set. Not the temporary employee who thinks they are entitled to unemployment benefits for working for a few weeks. How about the the kid who earned a degree in under water basket weaving who thinks that because they have a piece of paper they are entitled to a 100K a year job, company car, and can afford a 2500 sq ft home. If you think the 'everyone gets a trophy' mindset only manifests itself in executives or 'the ruling class', you are deceiving yourself. The majority of people today below the age of 70 have an entitled mindset.

I'm 29, my expectations for what I'm entitled to...life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and taxes.
 
2012-12-18 02:38:44 PM  

doczoidberg: JackieRabbit: doczoidberg: Any employers who fights to stop a worker's unemployment claim in THIS economy deserves to be hanged.

Sometime it is appropriate for an employer to fight an unemployment claim. Every time a claim is filed against an employer, their insurance premium goes up. It can become very expensive. So if you have a deadbeat employee, who you must fire for cause, you shouldn't have to be on the hook for his unemployment benefit. An employer cannot file an appeal for benefits being paid because of a layoff or any not-for-cause termination.

I had to fire a guy one time because he could never finish an assignment on time and pretty much just came to work whenever he wanted. I never cared if my employees worked remotely or not, but I expected results. This clown was wasn't working when he was not in the office. He became insubordinate and hostile when I counseled him about his poor work ethic. So I gave him a week's paid vacation and told him to go think very hard about whether he wanted to continue working for the company and gave him a list of detailed list of improvements he had to make if he decided to stay. If he decided to leave, he'd get a severance payment. He decided to stay, but didn't even try to meet his remediation plan. So after a month, when I called him to ask why he hadn't reported for work and he called me a "honky bastard," I canned him. He never returned his $2500 company-owned laptop and we decided not to prosecute him for theft. But when he filed for unemployment benefits, we challenged it and won.


Well...OK.

You get exempted from the mandatory hangings.


Oh good. Maybe just a little paddling by someone with nice boobs?
 
2012-12-18 02:42:26 PM  

Egoy3k: .mgshamster: She could do the job. The job was "unloading boxes." She could do that just fine. It was the environment for which she was required to do the job that prevented her from doing it. There is no reason that an Amazon box unloader should have to work in a high heat environment; it's not like it's a steel mill or anything.

The Job was unloading boxes in the warehouse which is not air conditioned and is often hot.

I've never worked at a steel mill, but I would imagine that there are plenty of other jobs the individual could work or be trained to work that didn't involve them standing right next to the molten metal. Perhaps outside working with unloading raw materials or loading finished products. Maybe driving or operating machinery (or other vehicles) involved in the process. Or maybe working in the office instead of the plant. Of course, since many companies nowadays seem to refuse to train employees, the problem might lay there.

Unionized plants have a lot of rules about who gets what job. Moving people from one job to another is never easy and often impossible. You are simplifying the situation out of ignorance regarding the realities of labor management. Just one example twice now you have mentioned 'working in the office' what possible use would a steel mill have for a worker with at most high school diploma or an equivalent education in the office? Even if one could be found unless they were previously at a shortage someone in the office will have to lose their job to make room for an additional employee.

Hey Jill, how's the husband? Good, Good. Look we just found out that the new guy, Jack, down in the mill can't work in a hot environment. I'm really sorry but we're laying you off. You see mgshamster thinks it would make us evil if we fired a guy who can't do the job he was hired to do, so Jack is taking your job.


I've worked warehouse jobs before that were air-conditioned (this was back in the 90s when I was an unskilled laborer). Just because the job is in the warehouse doesn't mean it's not air-conditioned.

And why are we talking about "the new guy"? I mean, I understand that the lady in TFA was new-ish, but the entire issue is about more than just that. Companies have fired people who've worked 15-20 years simply for no longer being able to do the job due to injury or illness. And because they were fired - not retired - they lose their pension and all their benefits. Sucks to be them, I guess, huh?

Additionally, your original story was young lad working in a mill, has sensitivity to heat. You guessed that your only options were to 1) turn off heat, or 2) fire him. I presented you with plenty of other options, and each time, you choose to add more information just to claim that I'm wrong. Classic example of moving the goal post. Hell, I even presented an option to keep this hypothetical young unskilled worker working near the heat, and you completely ignored it. The point is that there are other options rather than just firing a person who would otherwise be very capable; it just takes a bit of thinking to be able to figure it out.
 
2012-12-18 02:45:15 PM  

JackieRabbit: doczoidberg: JackieRabbit: doczoidberg: Any employers who fights to stop a worker's unemployment claim in THIS economy deserves to be hanged.

Sometime it is appropriate for an employer to fight an unemployment claim. Every time a claim is filed against an employer, their insurance premium goes up. It can become very expensive. So if you have a deadbeat employee, who you must fire for cause, you shouldn't have to be on the hook for his unemployment benefit. An employer cannot file an appeal for benefits being paid because of a layoff or any not-for-cause termination.

I had to fire a guy one time because he could never finish an assignment on time and pretty much just came to work whenever he wanted. I never cared if my employees worked remotely or not, but I expected results. This clown was wasn't working when he was not in the office. He became insubordinate and hostile when I counseled him about his poor work ethic. So I gave him a week's paid vacation and told him to go think very hard about whether he wanted to continue working for the company and gave him a list of detailed list of improvements he had to make if he decided to stay. If he decided to leave, he'd get a severance payment. He decided to stay, but didn't even try to meet his remediation plan. So after a month, when I called him to ask why he hadn't reported for work and he called me a "honky bastard," I canned him. He never returned his $2500 company-owned laptop and we decided not to prosecute him for theft. But when he filed for unemployment benefits, we challenged it and won.


Well...OK.

You get exempted from the mandatory hangings.

Oh good. Maybe just a little paddling by someone with nice boobs?


cdn.bleacherreport.net
 
2012-12-18 03:41:48 PM  
Temporary employees KNOW they will only work 1 or 2 months. This is not a permanent vocation, and as such, should NOT be compensated with unemployment benefits.
 
2012-12-18 03:57:57 PM  

mgshamster: dditionally, your original story was young lad working in a mill, has sensitivity to heat. You guessed that your only options were to 1) turn off heat, or 2) fire him. I presented you with plenty of other options, and each time, you choose to add more information just to claim that I'm wrong. Classic example of moving the goal post. Hell, I even presented an option to keep this hypothetical young unskilled worker working near the heat, and you completely ignored it. The point is that there are other options rather than just firing a person who would otherwise be very capable; it just takes a bit of thinking to be able to figure it out.


When your solution is, 'give him a different job' and when I respond that in a unionized workforce that is impossible that is not moving the goalposts it's explaining why your solution isn't a solution.
 
2012-12-18 04:19:45 PM  

Egoy3k: mgshamster: dditionally, your original story was young lad working in a mill, has sensitivity to heat. You guessed that your only options were to 1) turn off heat, or 2) fire him. I presented you with plenty of other options, and each time, you choose to add more information just to claim that I'm wrong. Classic example of moving the goal post. Hell, I even presented an option to keep this hypothetical young unskilled worker working near the heat, and you completely ignored it. The point is that there are other options rather than just firing a person who would otherwise be very capable; it just takes a bit of thinking to be able to figure it out.

When your solution is, 'give him a different job' and when I respond that in a unionized workforce that is impossible that is not moving the goalposts it's explaining why your solution isn't a solution.


1) I did list other solutions; you just chose to ignore them.

2) If the union is that much of a problem in getting the worker into a different position, wouldn't the union also have a problem with firing him because of a medical condition? Or is the union perfectly OK with screwing workers over if they get injured or sick, but god forbid they get a different position?

New question: we've been focusing on a new employee. What if this were an old employee? Let's say you have a competent worker that's been with the mill for 10 years, and all of a sudden is unable to work in the heat. What then? As I've said before, this entire issue has been a problem in the past, which is why anti-discrimination laws have been written (specifically for disabilities and other medical conditions).
 
2012-12-18 04:26:12 PM  
But, but, but, Bezos gave $25 million to Democrat causes this cycle.

Doesn't that give him a pass or something?
 
2012-12-18 08:05:20 PM  

mgshamster: Egoy3k: mgshamster: dditionally, your original story was young lad working in a mill, has sensitivity to heat. You guessed that your only options were to 1) turn off heat, or 2) fire him. I presented you with plenty of other options, and each time, you choose to add more information just to claim that I'm wrong. Classic example of moving the goal post. Hell, I even presented an option to keep this hypothetical young unskilled worker working near the heat, and you completely ignored it. The point is that there are other options rather than just firing a person who would otherwise be very capable; it just takes a bit of thinking to be able to figure it out.

When your solution is, 'give him a different job' and when I respond that in a unionized workforce that is impossible that is not moving the goalposts it's explaining why your solution isn't a solution.

1) I did list other solutions; you just chose to ignore them.


No I chose the most benign solution you had and explained why it doesn't work the way you seem to think it does.

2) If the union is that much of a problem in getting the worker into a different position, wouldn't the union also have a problem with firing him because of a medical condition? Or is the union perfectly OK with screwing workers over if they get injured or sick, but god forbid they get a different position?

You clearly have no idea what you are talking about and have never dealt with a unionized workforce.

Unions are like criminal defence lawyers, They represent the innocent and guilty alike. They are necessary in many situations but nobody (even the members) really likes them all that much. It's very common that in a particular situation they will fight against either action taken.

This isn't about screwing workers over. We really aren't tycoons sitting behind giant desks twirling our mustaches while we count gold coins out of the giant sacks with dollar signs printed on them. This is about maintaining a workforce that is able to do the jobs that they are being paid to do. Nobody wants to lay off or fire workers. NOBODY enjoys feeling as if they are hurting people that have worked with them for years. It's the hardest part of my job to tell a young guy with kids that he isn't going to be paid next week because we have to downsize. The economy is global, that means that I need my plant to compete with plants all over the world that have much less restrictions in how they treat their employees and where the dump their waste.This is accomplished by maintaining a lean capable workforce of motivated and highly trained people, and using as much labor saving technology as possible.

If I have a worker who needs to be physically active and for whatever reason they will never be capable of doing that job ever again I can't just put them somewhere else and then pay an additional worker to do the physical labor. I won't be able to meet my goals and I will lose business to a Chinese factory that can just co-opt students into labor to meet quotas. I have a duty to every employee who works for me to be as competitive on the global market as possible otherwise we will all be out of a job.

I work directly with physiotherapists to build back to work programs to meet the needs of employees who cannot meet the physical demands of the job. I implement technology to reduce physical hardship and increase productivity. Sometimes none of these things work and the worker cannot perform their duties. That's unfortunate, but that is the way it goes. I don't run a charity, and my employees deserve the job security that comes from working in a well managed plant that is profitable. Believe me or don't as you like but I'm not responding to bleeding heart drivel any longer tonight. I hope one day you'll understand why the funniest things I ever heard was an employee of mine complaining to me about something he didn't agree with, "This company is bullshiat, all that they care about is money!"

/he didn't get why I thought it was so funny even after I asked him why he comes to work every day
 
2012-12-18 09:34:21 PM  

Egoy3k: No I chose the most benign solution you had and explained why it doesn't work the way you seem to think it does.

 
And that's fine.  I expect that some of my ideas won't work; that's why I gave more than one. The others you still ignored.  Or rather, you made an off-hand comment about safety violations if worker has to get water. What happens if a worker has to use the toilet? Another safety violation? If that's the case, this plant must be the worst place to work at if employees can't use the toilet.
 

Egoy3k: You clearly have no idea what you are talking about and have never dealt with a unionized workforce.

 
When it comes to unions, absolutely.  I never claimed to be an expert in unions or labor forces.  My only experience with unions is when they defended me against discrimination by my boss.  I quit not too long after that whole ordeal and went back to college to make sure I wouldn't be in a position to have to deal with that ever again.
 

Egoy3k: my employees deserve the job security that comes from working in a well managed plant that is profitable.

 
Unless they're unlucky enough to get injured or sick. In that case, so long! Good luck with finding a new job!
 
Sarcasm aside, if what you say is true, then you - personally - really are trying to get sick and injured workers back on their feet, and that's a good thing. A very good thing. And if that's what you are really doing, then I'm confused on why you are arguing to fire a guy because he can't handle the heat as well as another guy.  Why wouldn't you try to get him as efficient as you would anyone else?
 

Egoy3k: bleeding heart drivel

 
When one claims that workers rights are "bleeding heart drivel," I can tell they've never experienced being in a bad company that does whatever they can to squeeze more profits out of employees.  Have you ever worked a job with no benefits? Raised a family with no medical insurance?  Have you ever had a company deny you compensation for an injury that was clearly the fault of working conditions?  Have you ever worked shift work with lots of overtime, but no overtime pay (because you are illegally labeled as "salary")?  Have you ever been discriminated against because of your skin color or gender (like receiving less pay even though you are better qualified)? Have you ever been fired and then rehired as a "contractor" for less pay with no benefits, doing more work and putting in more hours?  Have you ever been fired for taking a legitimate sick day (even if you have earned sick days)? For getting pregnant?  I've seen all of these happen, and some of them I've experienced.
 
Working a job should not be caveat emptor.
 
I understand that sometimes it's just not a good fit, and the employee has to be let go.  From what you describe, it really seems like you are trying to make it work before you let them go, and that's absolutely to be applauded. Based on your latest post, I think I actually agree with a lot of what you say. So why didn't you start with that attitude in this thread? Why did you start with "if they don't fit from the get go, fire them"?
 
Based on your last post, here are a few This American Life episodes you may enjoy:
http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/403/nummi 
 
Damn it - I had them in my head, and I lost them.  I can't remember the other episodes I thought you'd enjoy.  Sorry.  Well, at least you'll have that one.
 
2012-12-18 10:47:56 PM  

trappedspirit: you have pee hands: If feel the need to put "Integrity" in your company name, you probably don't have any.

Right. And if anyone mentions they deliver a high quality product they probably don't. And if a grocery store has to say they have a wide selection of products, they probably don't. Basically if any company says anything positive about themselves they must be lying.


Fair and balanced!
 
2012-12-19 01:11:24 AM  

skinink: KrispyKritter: most temp agencies treat their workers like pond scum on a full time basis. fair weather friends of a legal pimp nature. nasty affair for the most part. i can picture a young Mitt Romney type being successful owning such a business. scumbags.

Exactly, so I don't know why the temp agency's behavior is Amazon's fault Most temp agencies don't give a fark about you personally, they just need the bodies available for staffing calls. And you should see the hourly pay rate the temp agencies charge companies versus what you actually earn in your paycheck. You'd have a fit seeing exactly how big the difference is and what you are not pocketing.


It's Amazon's fault in the same way that it is still your fault if you hire a hit man to kill your wife rather than do it yourself.
 
2012-12-19 01:21:01 AM  

padraig: What does companies fight againt worker's unemployment claims ? Does that come out of their pocket, in your country ?


Indirectly, yes. They have to pay the government toward unemployment insurance for their employees, and if too many make claims for unemployment, their rates go up.
 
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