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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Or you can stand at a freeway ramp and beg

Here's a heck of a part-time job posting on Craigslist. Sub-minimum-wage pay, and they don't take any taxes out, so you may have to pay extra into Social Security. No fringe benefits, obviously. Sheesh, can they spare it?

Comments (15)

I hate driving by the people stuck doing this job. I am so grateful to not be in that place. However, I'm reminded of the menial and difficult 1st, 2nd, and 3rd jobs my dad would take to make ends meet. Back in the day, very little was beneath a man doing whatever he could to provide for his family.

The least they could do is put the poor soul on the payroll at minimum wage.


I emailed them my take on it. Disgusting abuse of Oregon law. I suggest everyone do so.

Probably paying ten an hour is possible as well.

Actually, it seems like they are setting themselves up for a BOLI violation for failing to pay the minimum wage for what are clearly employees, not "independent contractors."

I hope someone takes the job and then files a complaint with BOLI and nails them. No way this meets the tests for independent contractor positions.

George beat me to it, there is no way the employee would qualify as an "independent contractor." (They set the time, place, and pay.)

Once, years ago, I saw a classic ad out of Wilsonville. You got a trailer to live in inside a barn, and all you had to do was shovel out horse stables 40 hours a week.
It was back when the minimum wage was maybe 5 bucks an hour so basically it was like renting an apartment for 800 a month. At the time that was like a 3,000 dollar apartment only with this you wouldn't even get an apartment. It was just a little trailer.
So I called and bagged them. I said, "Are you telling me I get to stay in a little trailer in a barn and all I have to do is shovel horse shit for 40 hours a week? Wait, it's too good. There's got to be some kind of catch."
Then I hung up.

Suppose the independent contractor says I have two arms and can hold two signs, for $16 bucks per hour of service? The service, the message, might be diluted, but no more so than The Oregonian carrying ads for multiple auto dealers or multiple real estate sales outfits simultaneously. They could even hang a conspicuously over-sized tin cup from their neck.


I think I should make my own signs. (ORS 670.600(3)) Two of them, specific to two businesses (or political outfits, or City-funded private-non-profits) and offer to hold them simultaneously from 8AM to 10:15AM at $7/hour each. I can have my own sign too, for whatever is my beef-of-the-day. Think of it as a print news editorial/opinion section. I'll take a 15 minute break at some random time of my choosing, and maybe smoke or worse . . . eat a non-transfat-free donut.

Are the "desired results" different if I hold two signs rather than one? ORS 670.600(1).

Even then I would have to work 100 days (2-hour days) as a side job (or to get a bit-of-exercise) just to gross enough to cover a typical annual property tax bill.

The four hour shift is obviously pegged to a labor law requiring pay for 4 hours even if someone is called in for anything less. The organizer wants to limit their liability, at least a little bit.

Regardless of whether a "sign spinner" is an independent contractor or an employee, I doubt BOLI would accept the company offering less than minimum wage.

Notice the ad says $8 in the body, but $9 at the bottom under Compensation.

Every time we drive past a sign spinner, I tell my kids, "There's another good reason to stay in school and study hard!"

Definitely an employee not a subcontractor. As most of you probably realize, subcontractor is a legal designation not something the employer can decide to suit their best interest. On the other hand, with the state cut backs and forced leave, will BOLI ever get around to investigating this? Really shameful, there is a place in hell reserved for these scumbag employers.

What's scary is that I know at least one person who's been unemployed for so long that this might be tempting. Between her parents cutting her off (there's nothing more pathetic than a 52-year-old hipster) and bookstore positions drying up, it might be her only reasonable employment opportunity for a while.

So if a free adult citizen is willing to take $8 per hour for this of his or her own free will we should all get together and stop him or her? Come on, no one is forcing anyone to do this job!

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