Anyone else think plaintiffs’ attorneys in employment law cases are in part holding back employees’ rights movement? We won’t go back to the 1960s socially, so why do they insist we go back to the 1960s economically, like the jobs today are (or somehow should be like) basic factory line jobs of yesterday that have to be treated with the same outdated wage-and-hour laws?

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I'm not sure I follow .... Can you elaborate?

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L&E attorney (management side) here. I could go on forever about how messed up and inefficient labor markets are, but the problem is much bigger than just plaintiffs’ attorneys trying to enforce overtime laws. (And frankly I support more overtime coverage, not less, at least in the immediate future.)

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Not sure if you’re genuinely arguing that we should *weaken* L&E laws in this country.

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Apologies if I was unclear. There was only a bit of space to type in the question.

I meant that the nature of our economy has changed so drastically after the tech boom that working and earning a living today is nothing like it was just a few decades ago. People largely stayed at their job for 50 years until they retired. They moved up in the same company, and the work they did was regular 9 to 5 type, repetitive work. That’s what was available to make money and that’s what people did. With the uptick in technology, all that’s changed. Even the jobs that existed before are changed now, such that if someone doesn’t like their boss at a retail store, for example, they turn their phone on and find 72628 ads for comparable jobs near them and jump over to that (subject to recessions). Or they have one main job and one or two side hustles, like reselling collectible shoes (or whatever they buy low and sell high) online. Some even completely dumped the old way and fully embraced self-sufficient income earning. Like the children making millions off YouTube videos, or playing video games live online.

I don’t think this fundamental shift in how people make money is a coincidence. I think we’re still in the early stage and it’ll just expand in the future. And it’s good for workers because it’s given them freedom they haven’t had before, freedom to move, to build or tailor for themselves their own income streams, control their work schedules, etc. So why try to force laws that were written before computers and cell phones on the economy today and tomorrow?

I’m not saying you don’t have worker protections. We should. I’m saying that part of the shift in the economy is actually good for workers. And it doesn’t make sense to hinder that by forcing outdated laws meant for a one-employer, 9 to 5 system onto people instead of embracing the change and passing new laws that work within the new system.

Take Uber/Lyft drivers for example. The drivers get to pick when they want to work, for how long they want to work, and can pick up other similarly flexible work (like driving for DoorDash for food delivery, or instacart for grocery shopping, or TaskRabbit to help with one off projects, etc.). But this works only if there’s not the same overtime pressures on those companies. If they have to track hours worked, the companies will then take control of shifts, and the flexibility starts to disappear. Wouldn’t it be better to retain this flexibility by embracing the gig economy as a new form of work, and instead of pushing overtime requirements, there was a base minimum paid per hours spent transacting, such that if someone spent X hours driving for Uber (as recorded in the app) they get at least Y amount. A move from hours worked scheme that worked for when people were mostly in offices doing 9-5 and more toward a tech-based transactional model.

There is an incentive for Plaintiffs attorneys to ignore this cause the more the nature of our economy changes the less likely companies will be following out dated laws, resulting in more cases and more attorneys’ fees. And we’re already seeing a doubling down in some states on this by passage of laws re misclassification, basically a push to make sure the new economy doesn’t escape the outdated laws (and always includes a strong plaintiffs’ attorney fee provision lol). It seems so backward to me. Why fight inevitable change that has benefits for workers when you can embrace it and help build worker protections in the new system.

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It sounds like you care a lot. All I'm saying is instead of lamenting an entire class of lawyers who devote their careers to people over corporations, you should spend your time and energy organizing. If you think action needs to be taken, then act. I'm sure with all the energy and ideas you have, you can make change happen.

I'll say, for someone to have never met me to shame me (and an entire class of lawyers) is just another way to convince yourself you're not part of the problem. You believe that by revealing an ongoing thought process of yours, you can sit back and say the work is done. It isn't. If you really care,go do something. If you don't act, then you're just as bad as everyone you're shaming.

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