Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Chief DLSE Desk Donkey Robert Jones loses again: meal & rest periods are wages/going back 3 years...Miles Locker vindicated

Robert Jones tried to pick up where Donna Dell left off: to systematically screw over the working Californian with their bullsh*t interpretation of meal & rest period violations (was it considered a penalty or a wage?). The California Supreme Court called it: meal & rest period violations are wages, and it goes back 3 years. Miles Locker, the DLSE attorney who called it correct years ago, knew long ago that meal & rest periods were wages.
Stay with me, because this is where it gets tricky, and one needs to understand why this legal decision has a huge impact on Big Business. For example, let’s take SprawlMart: it’s determined that they screwed their workers over and failed to give them lunches and breaks. Instead of the class action lawsuit looking at a 1-year penalty of $60 million dollars, they would now be looking at a 3-year $180 million dollar penalty. If the DLSE’s snakeoil was swallowed, then SprawlMart would have saved themselves $120 million dollars. This legal decision is huge. As much as the Governator wants companies to do business in California, I don’t think it’s unfair to ask them to just obey the laws on the books.
California doesn’t need political appointees like Robert Jones to rape the labor code at the behest of Big Business. I couldn’t imagine anything more pathetic than being a whore for Big Business: that’s not the accomplishment I want engraved on my tombstone. Ever hear of the The Midas Touch fable? It’s a story where this king had the power to turn everything into gold with his touch. King Midas touched a loved one and guess what?
At the DLSE, we have the exact opposite, where we have The Robert Jones Touch, where everything he touches turns to sh*t. He fired one of the best attorneys working for the people, he tried to sell everyone his CMS snakeoil, he delegates his staff to terminate some lame-ass blogger, and he tried to shiv the working Californian with his “meal & rest periods are just a penalty” crapola. How can any DLSE attorney (except Anthony Mischel, Richard Munoz, and other suck-up flunkies) not laugh at Robert Jones when they see him? If everyone who sees Robert Jones could ask him when he expects Miles Locker to return, then that might go a long way in getting an incompetent & inefficient attorney to leave state service. The public has a right to know that political appointees at DLSE do not work for the collective good; it's special interests all the way.
It would be less subtle if John Rea & Vicky Bradshaw just placed a dog collar and a leash around Robert Jones' neck, because it would show true ownership.


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