Monday, July 27, 2015

Big Brother at its "best"

Employers beware
Why do people blog about stuff they blog about?  While I generally talk about things legal, today I have a bug in my shorts and feel the need to rant.

So, I was reading an article about a winery who was fined $115,000 for allowing volunteers to work at their winery.  Seems there were people in the area who wanted to learn how to produce wine.  So, they approached the owner of the Castro Valley Winery who let them come on board and do work around the winery while he taught them the business.

HORROR OF HORRORS!!!  Teaching people to make money?  The nerve of some people!  Well, somehow California bureaucrats  found out and the Department of Industrial Relations went after them like a bunch of rabid dogs.  $115,000+ in fines later, Castro Valley Winery is selling all of its assets, putting its workers out of work, and closing its doors thanks in no small part to inefficient legislation.

I suspect the initial purpose of the legislation was not to put companies out of business but to protect employees from unscrupulous employers.  The problem is that the law didn't take into account people who want to work for free (i.e. volunteer or intern).  Now that I think of it, maybe it was a union thing.  I mean, how many times have you heard of instances where a union thug will say if a union member isn't doing that job, no one is doing that job?  Happens a lot, actually.

Anyway, I suspect the crux of this matter is not that Castro Valley Winery had volunteers but, rather, that the State wasn't getting any tax revenue.  It's called Socialism.  If everyone isn't pouring money into the same tax pot, then sooner than later, there won't be any money for State entitlement programs.  The State claimed there were workers' compensation issues (for injuries that might occur - but didn't).  The State said Castro Valley should have been paying worker's taxes.  Why?  Because California is a Socialist state, that's why.  You can't have people who want to learn about a business work for free.  That would mean people could learn a new trade on their dime and in their own time and businesses could offer their intellectual property (i.e. business acumen) in fair trade, yes?  Apparently, not.  

You see, governments can't allow that because they need tax revenue to buy votes and/or pay for the welfare state we all seem to find ourselves in, these days.  A bit political but when judges back the governor/POTUS that appointed them simply because the governor/POTUS appointed them which allows the governors/POTUS to duck behind technicalities and say they are only following the law, well - it's time to kick these bums out of office and move toward a more saner state of affairs.  Too bad, in the process, some business will go out of business and people will be laid off and forced to stand in the unemployment line.

I guess, the upshot to all of this is what business, in their right mind, would ever have any interns after this?  Of course, the point to having an intern is to teach the up and coming about the business while they do the business of the business.  What I'm wondering is how cities around the country can get away with having volunteers when private businesses cannot?  Sounds like cities and states are illegally shielding themselves from liability while putting an unfair burden on local industry.  Might be time to file suit against the States and Municipalities for making laws that attack business but protect themselves from the same actions that collect fines for alleged illegal or questionable activities (offering positions for interns or volunteers).  

I'm just saying.