"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Welcome to Feudal America (Update)

This story is just unbelievable:

To get the $15-an-hour job last spring, Almeida was required to sign a “restriction on competition” clause that said if he leaves, he can’t work for two years for any firm doing similar work in ServiceMaster’s “geographic area” — which the company’s lawyer told me means King, Snohomish, Island, Yakima and Kittitas counties.

ServiceMaster of Seattle, a franchise in a $3.4 billion national corporation, now is trying to force Almeida to forfeit his $18-an-hour job at Superior Cleaning of Woodinville.

The noncompete clause would mean Almeida also couldn’t work in any water- or fire-damage job, janitorial, office cleaning, window washing, floor or carpet cleaning or other job ServiceMaster does.

I've had to sign non-competition agreements, but I was a highly placed employee with inside information on clients, as well as personal relationships with many of them. But for a $15/hr janitorial job?

If something like this goes to the Supreme Court, expect a 5-4 decision in favor of the corporation.

Read the whole story at the link. It's pretty appalling.

Update: And they have all sorts of ways of screwing us. Just ran across this story, via Balloon Juice:

Tens of thousands of Americans who went through bankruptcy are still haunted by debts long after — sometimes as long as a decade after — federal judges have extinguished the bills in court.

The problem, state and federal officials suspect, is that some of the nation’s biggest banks ignore bankruptcy court discharges, which render the debts void. Paying no heed to the courts, the banks keep the debts alive on credit reports, essentially forcing borrowers to make payments on bills that they do not legally owe.

But there's a ray of hope?

Now lawyers with the United States Trustee Program, an arm of the Justice Department, are investigating JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup and Synchrony Financial, formerly known as GE Capital Retail Finance, suspecting the banks of violating federal bankruptcy law by ignoring the discharge injunction, say people briefed on the investigations.

The banks say that they comply with all federal laws in their collection and sale of debt.

Really. This is the Obama/Holder Justice Department. Frankly, I'm surprised they're investigating at all, especially with Holder getting ready to step down. I mean, what will he do for a job if he alienates the banksters?

Best case scenario: the banks get a slap on a wrist and maybe -- just maybe -- stop doing it for a while. Until no one's looking.

No comments: