May 16, 2011

It's a furlough day here at the University of Wisconsin, and I am forbidden to work.

There's a new Supreme Court case that I might like to write about — Kentucky v. King —  but I am not even allowed to read it. I'm deprived of pay today, and on top of that, the hands of the state are clasped tight over my eyes and my typing hands are bound. I cannot read or write in any subjects in the range of my professorial job.

This furlough business is a vestige of the Doyle administration. The new governor — the infamous Scott Walker — has a different approach to balancing the state budget.

IN THE COMMENTS: Ignorance is Bliss writes:
I'd ask 'Doesn't that violate your first amendment rights?', but since that is a constitutional law question, you wouldn't be able to read it, let alone write a response.
Now, normally, that's enough to make me add the "law" tag, but I must refrain, lest my enemies wreak revenge.

ADDED: A previous discussion of the furlough day, with better detail.

105 comments:

Titus said...

Don Lemon from CNN is gay. Yea! He is hot.

Also, a NBA owner came out as gay.

Gays are everywhere.

rhhardin said...

There are no furlough days in mathematics.

Fred4Pres said...

Furlough days are stupid. You cut salaries or cut jobs. Preferably cut jobs since it promotes greater productivity.

I heard Don Lemon on NPR this morning Titus. I do not know who he is, but I will take your word for it. I hear gays are everywhere.

meep said...

Aren't you guys salaried?

You're just doing your work for lower salary. I assume you'll end up doing the same amount of work as you normally do.

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

Maybe the powers that be would allow you to write about this fashion trend.

Freeman Hunt said...

Furlough day. That's imaginary. You're engaged in mostly intellectual work. What are you supposed to do, go into a self-induced coma?

Ann Althouse said...

"You're just doing your work for lower salary. I assume you'll end up doing the same amount of work as you normally do."

Of course. I will end up doing all my work, but I am *not allowed* to do it today.

A case that I think is probably important just came out, and my normal thing would be to read and write about it quickly and engage in discourse on the web while it is most timely. But I am forbidden!

Yes, I could do it tomorrow. Or I could have done it on Sunday (if I had the text). But I'm not allowed to work today.

Since the blog makes it obvious when I do something, it's a particular problem.

Maybe some other professors are reading and writing about this case now but they won't call attention to the fact that they did it today.

I have the special problem of being deprived of doing my work at the particular time when it would be most valuable.

Ann Althouse said...

"Furlough day. That's imaginary. You're engaged in mostly intellectual work. What are you supposed to do, go into a self-induced coma?"

It's work not to think about it.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I cannot read or write in any subjects in the range of my professorial job.

I'd ask 'Doesn't that violate your first amendment rights?', but since that is a constitutional law question, you wouldn't be able to read it, let alone write a response.

rhhardin said...

Furlough means complete permission.

MayBee said...

So it is the Wisconsin Idea to use your university-funded work product to influence politics, but you can't use your own time to enhance your university work (on furlough days, the result of a political decision).

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I cannot read or write in any subjects in the range of my professorial job.

Surely you must be joking. (and no I'm not calling you Shirley). Who is going to stop you from thinking and writing.

Also. What Freeman says.

Doc said...

Time to fire up some "movie" posts.

Got any trivia for us fiends?

Seven Machos said...

Today's theme: various kinds of death and what to do about it.

Alex said...

Insanity. Government insanity.

rhhardin said...

You could work in women's studies and be forbidden act like a woman.

Alex said...

Ann - by even discussing furlough day you're violating something no doubt. Don't you just lurve government?

Alex said...

What Ann needs to do today is put up a lot of sex threads.

Milhouse said...

I don't understand how they can stop you from working for free. What can they do if they find out you did work? Does an employer have the right to prevent employees from working for him for free, on their own time and in their own homes, if they choose to do so? I mean, forget intellectual work; suppose I was being paid to knit socks at home, and I was told that I wouldn't be paid for any socks I knit today, but I chose to knit anyway, would my employer have any sort of legal right to tell me not to? On what grounds?

roesch-voltaire said...

Like you I am home not viewing the philosophy of science course by Jeffrey Kasser, or reading about the Fukushima melt downs, but I have responded to one of my engineering students now working in Switzerland on Facebook--even that is probably forbidden.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Plus, aren't you a salaried (versus hourly) employee?

If the University is furloughing salaried employees, do you get a percentage of salary reduction. An hourly employee would be furloughed for the hours that they were NOT being allowed to work. I don't think it can possibly be the same for a salaried employee.

I have been salaried for most of my working life, when I wasn't self employed. As a salaried employee, your time is not accounted for (meaning you don't have to punch a time clock or generally be in the 'office' on a regular schedule) and you can do whatever you want, as long as you do the required work.

Alex said...

On what grounds?

On the grounds that the state is your master and you shall obey. Do you really want to know what is in Room 101?

Irene said...

Does this mean you cannot read law blogs, even if they are not posting about law-related things?

Freeman Hunt said...

What DBQ said. I don't see how a furlough day works for a salaried employee.

It's just cutting pay by a day. Why not just call it that and not inconvenience everyone?

edutcher said...

Things like furlough days are what made Detroit what the city it is today.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Furthermore, assuming you are a salaried employee, you are an exempt employee.

Exempt, meaning you don't get paid for overtime. As a salaried employee you can work 12 hours a day 7 days a week if that's what you want to do or if that is what it may take to finish a project or complete the task.

Since you cannot be compensated more for working more, I can't see how they can connect a furlough day (dock in salary) with putting conditions on your work schedule.


I think you are confused.

Ann Althouse said...

"So it is the Wisconsin Idea to use your university-funded work product to influence politics, but you can't use your own time to enhance your university work (on furlough days, the result of a political decision)."

Yes. Exactly. Well put. This is a state that brags about its "idea" that professors should influence politics. I will use that as a weapon when my enemies come to get me.

chickenlittle said...

Now, normally, that's enough to make me add the "law" tag, but I must refrain, lest my enemies wreak revenge.

The same old same old Grim Wreaker?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Why not just call it that and not inconvenience everyone?

I suspect this arrangement is required in order to not violate union work rules.

Union work rules are specifically designed to inconvenience everyone to the point that it's easier to just hire more (union) workers, or pay more overtime to the ones you already have, or, at the very least, not cut their hours or pay.

Titus said...

Don Lemon is hot and he is fucking 45.

He looks amazing for 45.

KLDAVIS said...

Modern wage-hour law insists that the State must pay her if she works. The State has said that it will not pay her for today, thus she must not work today. If she does, the State will be liable. I assume she's signed some sort agreement pledging not to work on the assigned days and accepting a corresponding reduction in pay.

James said...

Then you can't listen to Rush today either.... he opened the program by discussing this Indiana case: http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/in_indiana_no_right_to_resist_unlawful_police_entry_at_home/

Trooper York said...

Hey if the African American Studies professor has a furlough day does he have to stop being black for the day?

t-man said...

Milhouse -

You are getting into the perverse effects of laws like the Fair Labor Standards Act. In general, an employee is not permitted to work for free, and employers cannot allow an employee to work for free.

This is supposed to prevent employers from surreptiously requiring work in violiation of the wage and hours laws.

If an employee is found to work more than the contracted for hours, we warn them not to, and if they continue, we have to fire them. This is to prevent government fines and individual lawsuits for back overtime. There is no defense in these cases that the employee was acting voluntarily.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Modern wage-hour law insists that the State must pay her if she works

Perhaps it is different in Wisconsin working for the State, or there is a Union Contract that has other stipulations, but that is NOT true of a salaried employee.

Hourly, yes. Salaried, no.

"The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the applicable law.

Professionals with advanced degrees are exempt (or not entitled to overtime). So are highly-paid computer professionals such as programmers, software engineers, and system analysts. Emergency-room doctors are exempt, as are pharmacists. Creative professionals such as artists and sculptors are also exempt. Outside salespeople are not only working outside the office but outside the protection of the overtime laws."


I fell into that last category. I assume that Althouse is in the first.

Since exempt employees are not subject to the same rules and regulations as hourly employees, unless there is some other agreement, there is no legal restriction to prevent a salaried employee from doing the work when they want to do it.

KLDAVIS said...

DBQ,

The furlough days reduce her salary accordingly. She is not being paid for today, salaried, hourly or otherwise. Thus your application of that clause of the FLSA is not correct.

Bender said...

In your capacity as a state employee, you might be prohibited from reading that case, but as a lawyer - which is wholly separate from your capacity as state employee - you have a professional obligation under the ethics rules to keep up with changes in the law. Read the case.

roesch-voltaire said...

Althouse given your perspective, I doubt that the Walker Government will come after you the way they did after William Cronon, so I wouldn't worry. And in truth this law seems much stricter for salaried workers, who are not suppose to work this day, and not so much for faculty.Many are still at work in their offices, where I am now, meeting with grad students, or over-seing their labs. And of course medical researchers can not stop experiments, so life goes on but with less wages,and more resentment.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The furlough days reduce her salary accordingly. She is not being paid for today, salaried, hourly or otherwise. Thus your application of that clause of the FLSA is not correct.

In my experience as a salaried executive, unless you have signed a contract stipulating that your salary will require you to work X number of hours, a reduction in salary has nothing to do with the hours worked.

Quite often I would work many more than 40 hours a week with no overtime. Other times, less than 40 and my salary remained the same. My contracts were for salary and for job duties to be performed.

Salaried people are not paid by the hour or by the day. That is why they call it a salary.

Furloughing a salaried employee is basically just a reduction in salary. Furloughing an HOURLY employee is a reduction in hours worked and then the connection between furlough and forbidding the employee to work is correct.

I would like to see just what the agreement is between the State of Wisconsin and the salaried employees that precludes the salaried employee from working or thinking during certain hours.

Freder Frederson said...

I hope you realize that the vast majority of Wisconsin state workers don't have the luxury of sitting on their asses all day contemplating constitutional law and blogging in their spare time (most likely when they are technically "at work"). They have to do things like fill potholes, empty your garbage and clean your office. It must be nice to be able to sneer at work rules that protect people who go home physically exhausted every night.

If your furlough day galls you so much, there is an easy solution. Quit your tenured position. I am sure you can find a job at a law firm that will be perfectly willing to let you work 70, 80, 90 hours a week and not be the least bit concerned about whether your hourly compensation is fair. Of course, I'm not sure how your blogging time is going to be billable. But I am sure you can work it out with your new employer.

A. Shmendrik said...

No pay? Sell merchandise! Sell merchandise!

Ann Althouse said...

"It's just cutting pay by a day. Why not just call it that and not inconvenience everyone?"

Actually, there are some sound reasons that protect university employees. For example, our pensions are calculated on the actual salary, even though we aren't getting paid that money. So it could be a lot of money down the road that is preserved.

Ann Althouse said...

" your furlough day galls you so much, there is an easy solution. Quit your tenured position. I am sure you can find a job at a law firm that will be perfectly willing to let you work 70, 80, 90 hours a week and not be the least bit concerned about whether your hourly compensation is fair. Of course, I'm not sure how your blogging time is going to be billable. But I am sure you can work it out with your new employer."

You sound bitter. But don't you realize that I could simply retire? I would collect money from the pension fund for the rest of my life, and if I die first, Meade would collect until the end of his life.

KLDAVIS said...

DBQ, Althouse already posted an e-mail explaining the situation here.

Ann Althouse said...

As for the difference between my job as a professor and a law firm job, I walked away from my job as an associate at Sullivan & Cromwell in 1984. If I had stayed there, worked to my fullest capacity, and made partner, how much more money do you think I would have made than I have made as a professor? Why do you think I made the choice I did, to take such a huge pay cut? Law professor is a terrific job, but people are attracted into it from alternatives that pay much more highly. There's a reason for that.

Scott M said...

They have to do things like fill potholes, empty your garbage and clean your office. It must be nice to be able to sneer at work rules that protect people who go home physically exhausted every night.

Freder, I've done both the potholes and the garbage job (have to admit I've never cleaned anyone's office but my own). Both jobs were union shops and NOBODY every went home "exhausted". I used to be pro-union and was raised in a pro-union house. That all ended after actually belonging to a couple.

As AA said, you sound bitter.

Freder Frederson said...

Since exempt employees are not subject to the same rules and regulations as hourly employees, unless there is some other agreement, there is no legal restriction to prevent a salaried employee from doing the work when they want to do it.

What bizarro world do you live in? Show me a salaried employee who works less than 40 hours a week or doesn't have a set schedule (or at least core hours they are expected to work) and I will call them a liar. If you don't think that bosses watch the clock for salaried empolyees, that they are not expected to report their time, or work a certain number of hours a week (often much more than 40), then you are living in a fantasy world.

Of course, I wouldn't expect much more from a self-professed "financial advisor" who doesn't even know how a progressive income tax works.

Alex said...

I hope you realize that the vast majority of Wisconsin state workers don't have the luxury of sitting on their asses all day contemplating constitutional law and blogging in their spare time (most likely when they are technically "at work"). They have to do things like fill potholes, empty your garbage and clean your office. It must be nice to be able to sneer at work rules that protect people who go home physically exhausted every night.

Bitter asshole.

Scott M said...

Show me a salaried employee who works less than 40 hours a week or doesn't have a set schedule (or at least core hours they are expected to work) and I will call them a liar.

Radio makes a huge liar out of you. Besides, most salaried people I know have jobs that expect them to act like adults. You get in trouble if your work suffers, not if you're putting in 40 or not (or whatever your core hours are supposed to be).

You seem to be painting with some awfully big brushes today.

Ann Althouse said...

"'They have to do things like fill potholes, empty your garbage and clean your office. It must be nice to be able to sneer at work rules that protect people who go home physically exhausted every night.' Freder, I've done both the potholes and the garbage job (have to admit I've never cleaned anyone's office but my own). Both jobs were union shops and NOBODY every went home "exhausted". I used to be pro-union and was raised in a pro-union house. That all ended after actually belonging to a couple."

I imagine that Freder, like a typical left-winger, has a mental picture set in the distant past. The "workers" in his gauzy dream world look like characters in an Emile Zola novel.

This is like what we were talking about yesterday with voting standards and lefties crying "Jim Crow."

Freder Frederson said...

You sound bitter.

I guess I am. It annoys me that people who hate the government so much and think they are so much better than the organization they work for, continue to take money from it. It also annoys me that you use your rather exceptional circumstances in the state government infrastructure of Wisconsin to ridicule a work rule, that for the vast majority of your fellow state workers, makes a lot of sense.

You obviously are very comfortable, with a wonderful job, yet you bitch about work rules that have a rational basis.

If you hate the government so much, stop working for them.

Scott M said...

lol

The garbage routes are in the "it takes me 2 hours but my boss thinks it takes 3" catagory with ample fucking around time. The pothole job had a whole slew of ridiculous parameters, well outside things like heat/water safety, that allowed the whole crew to sit around. Not like we've ever seen road workers sit around, right?

You want exhausted? Try roofing for a summer. I've never met a union roofer. Anglo or otherwise.

Freder Frederson said...

Radio makes a huge liar out of you.

I have no idea what this statement is supposed to mean. Do you mean that working in radio makes a huge liar out of me? If so, the comment is not even worthy of response. If not, please explain yourself.

Scott M said...

Working 40 hours (or core hours, whatever you want to call them) don't apply to salaried broadcasters. Outside the show itself, which in music formats is laughable as you're really only "working" about 10 minutes an hour, there aren't any requirements on time. You have your show and you have production to do. You do it or you don't do it. If you don't do it, you get fired. If you're really good at production, you do it quickly and leave. If you suck, you take up valuable studio space, then you get fired.

My point, however, oddly phrased, was meant to point out that you don't know what you're talking about if you're including then entire set of people that work for salaries. If you want to talk outside sales, regardless of industry, I'd suggest you're equally clueless there.

There are plenty of salaried positions that don't "punch clocks" like you're suggesting. How this relates to Ann doesn't matter. I just wanted to point out that you're wrong and have you admit it.

Freder Frederson said...

I imagine that Freder, like a typical left-winger, has a mental picture set in the distant past.

Oh yes, because your garbage is collected and office is cleaned by robots. Nobody actually has to do those jobs any more. And btw, the reason they don't look like someone from an Emile Zola ot Upton Sinclair novel is because, not in spite of, unions.

If you and Meade have your way, we will be dragged back to those good 'ol days.

Maybe you should sit in on a labor law class or two.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ KLDAVIS. Thank you for the link. What a tortured can of worms.

The FLSA's tests for which status one falls in are objective. One is exempt if one has a certain type of training and does a certain type of work and it doesn’t matter whether the employee is paid on an hourly or salary basis. So since the nature of our education and our work hasn’t changed, and merely putting us on hourly pay for this period cannot affect our classification, how can the state reclassify us as non-exempt?

How is it that State law in Wisconsin can trump Federal Labor Law statutes? The Feds sure put up a fight in Arizona. I guess it doesn't matter if the law pertains to white legal pasty Wisconsinites (sorry ....couldn't resist the pasty)

Show me a salaried employee who works less than 40 hours a week or doesn't have a set schedule (or at least core hours they are expected to work) and I will call them a liar.

/Waves at Freder. Go ahead. Call me a liar. I often worked less than 40 hours a week. I MORE often worked more than 40 hours a week. I didn't have a 'set schedule' of 9 - 5 or have to punch a time clock or account for my hours. Much of my work required travel and on site visits away from the office. Of course if I never came into the office, didn't meet with clients and didn't get my work done, I would expect my contract to be voided and be fired.

You really don't have much real world experience, do you?

pbAndj said...

Is Althouse's poor-me routine an explicit attempt to inspire another mocking post at Balloon Juice.

BTW, it's interesting to read the comments in those threads. Those folks have a reasonable grasp of the comings and goings of Meadehouse. [Although, they do tend to overemphasize wine that comes in a box.]

So, they must be reading.

Freder Frederson said...

Working 40 hours (or core hours, whatever you want to call them) don't apply to salaried broadcasters.

Well gee, Tom Cruise probably doesn't work a 40 hour week either.

Give me a freaking break. Of course there are exceptions. I was talking about the vast majority of salaried personnel in this country, not people in show business or outlier speciality industries.

As for commissioned salespeople, they probably work longer hours than almost any other so-called professionals. Do you know any car salesmen?

You truly are a moron.

Timothy said...

So does this mean that we can attribute to you whatever ridiculous opinion on First Amendment law we can think of, and you can't deny it...

Remember when Althouse said New York Times v. Sullivan was the worst Supreme Court opinion since Dredd Scott?

You can look it up, but I'm sure Blogger "conveniently" deleted it.

Ann Althouse said...

"Oh yes, because your garbage is collected and office is cleaned by robots. Nobody actually has to do those jobs any more. And btw, the reason they don't look like someone from an Emile Zola ot Upton Sinclair novel is because, not in spite of, unions."

Cleaning my office and picking up my garbage are not difficult jobs. I see these jobs being done, and they are not grueling at all.

The garbage collector is a truck driver who rarely gets out of the seat. The truck has a big mechanical arm that picks up the containers and dumps them in the truck.

What are you talking about? You are pulling stuff out of your imagination.

Office cleaner and garbage collector are excellent government jobs.

Ann Althouse said...

Freder, actually, you should consider whether you are a big old snob.

I think it would be much easier to drive the garbage truck than to prepare and deliver law school classes and write and grade the exams and interact with students. And that's just the teaching part of my job. The students pay high tuition for this service I'm able to provide. It's not taking tax money. What is your beef? It sounds more like jealousy about the status of the job. You don't want people to enjoy their work. If it were my job to collect the trash, I would find the good in it and appreciate what I had. I assume that's what people who have these jobs do. Why do you pity them? It's humiliating, really. Work is honorable and rewarding.

Freder Frederson said...

How is it that State law in Wisconsin can trump Federal Labor Law statutes?

You may not be a liar, but you sure are stupid. The states can make laws that are more restrictive than federal law. In fact, I believe your own state has a higher minimum wage than the federal. But as a "financial advisor" you wouldn't be expected to know things like that.

Regardless of what the Federal or State law says, the state of course could make even more restrictive rules for its own employees. In fact the rules for Federal employees (in spite of FLSA) are very similar to what it appears the Wisconsin rules are. (Generally Federal exempt employees are entitled to either comp time or overtime--at a straight time rate--for hours worked over 40 in a week.)

Carol_Herman said...

You can read anything you like. Just take the reading material into the bathroom. At home. Or at Starbucks. Places where you won't have any police interference.

Stupid laws have stupid effects.

Now, if we could just legalize marijuana. (Won't hurt beer sales.)

Scott M said...

Well gee, Tom Cruise probably doesn't work a 40 hour week either.

Really? Are you really drawing a comparison between Tom Cruise and a young jock in a little shitburg like Paducah, KY or such that MIGHT be pulling down $14k if he's lucky? You truly are a moron.

For that matter, I suppose it's perfectly fine with you that Tom Cruise makes 1000x more than the jock.

Your original statement, What bizarro world do you live in? Show me a salaried employee who works less than 40 hours a week or doesn't have a set schedule (or at least core hours they are expected to work) and I will call them a liar.

Left no room for you to backtrack about exceptions, did it? You're either a moron or imprecise, or both. I'm betting the latter.

Tom Cruise = pathetic classic rock dj...that's classic. You have zero idea what you're talking about.

Eli Blake said...

Yeah, Scott Walker has a different approach. Lay off a bunch of your colleagues, or after stripping their union rights to prevent it, force them to take pay cuts.

Personally I prefer a furlough. That hits everyone equally.

Freder Frederson said...

I think it would be much easier to drive the garbage truck than to prepare and deliver law school classes and write and grade the exams and interact with students.

And I'm the snob?!?! You wouldn't last a shift on a garbage truck. Here's a hint, you don't get to start out driving the truck. You have to work your way up to it.

Freder Frederson said...

Left no room for you to backtrack about exceptions, did it?

Well, when you're right you're right. I foolishly made a statement that left no room for exception when of course there are going to be exceptions to almost anything.

Crimso said...

That's funny, because my university is more than happy for me to graciously donate my time. The graduate students I've been research advisor to have routinely registered for research hours during the summer but I wasn't paid for it. I have been expected to oversee their work, even though I am technically not employed during the summer (except extra pay for extra teaching). My colleagues have simply shrugged and noted that if you want graduate students you just have to put up with the situation. We can apply for various grants for summer support, but while the graduate student research hours are assured, the funding for your time most certainly isn't.

FWIW, I'd rather have fixed summer teaching assignments and a calendar year salary.

Maguro said...

Hey Freder, how 'bout that Bin Laden assassination?

No waterboarding involved, just two shots to the head.

Score one for the human rights brigade, eh? I'm sure you're terribly proud.

Scott M said...

@Freder

You rock. Well said.

Freder Frederson said...

If it were my job to collect the trash, I would find the good in it and appreciate what I had. I assume that's what people who have these jobs do. Why do you pity them? It's humiliating, really. Work is honorable and rewarding.

Really? Can you provide a link to the Wisconsin garbage truck driver's blog who is bitching today because he is on furlough and really misses his route and spending the whole day picking up trash? (Merely complaining about losing a day's pay doesn't count.)

Alex said...

Freder - ask yourself why you care about Althouse bitching.

MadisonMan said...

I've worked in the garden, ferried a visiting relative around and am about to volunteer at my son's former middle school.

The beauty of furlough days is that you can bank up your vacation days. But I do lose about $300 for each one.

Kirk Parker said...

Freder,

"Oh yes, because your garbage is collected ... by robots. "

This is almost exactly the case. The truck itself still had a human driver (though Google is working on that, I hear) but that's it. The truck pulls up to the curb, a hydraulically-powered robot arm comes out, grabs the can, tips it into the truck, and puts it back down.

But I wouldn't expect you to know about the details of modern life like that...

roesch-voltaire said...

Althouse, I agree that work should be honorable and rewarding, and this view is often expressed and lived by those secured in productive jobs, but this somehow over-looks the current practices of outsourcing, which reduced American IT workers to the jobless,the dismantling of the manufacturing sector,which has reduced the ranks of the once proud tool an die makers, the hiring of illegals to further reduce wages, and the continual attacks on public education, which has reduced an honorable and needed profession to ridicule. There is no need to reference Zola, when all one has to do is visit a Massey mine in West Virginia to see how times have, or have not, changed.

Freder Frederson said...

But I wouldn't expect you to know about the details of modern life like that...

Sorry, this is my industry. And as much as automation has improved the lot of the sanitation worker over the last few decades, it is still a dirty, hot (in the summer), cold (in the winter), smelly (always), physically demanding, dangerous, extremely hard, and draining job.

For Althouse, or anyone else, to pretend that anyone would do it for any other reason than it is a way to make an honest buck is to demean the intelligence of the people who do the work. They do the job because it is the best one they can get. They would much rather be doing almost anything else.

For Althouse to claim it would be easier to drive a garbage truck than teach law is the height of snobbery. It is hard work. Just because you don't appreciate shows how much is wrong with this country.

Scott M said...

There are hard jobs, and then there are hard jobs. While digging a ditch is physically draining, it's emotionally and mentally crystal clean.

There have been many times in my broker career in which a day or week's necessary all-day physical labor was seen as a welcomed respite from all the pressures and machinations of running an office environment.

Being emotionally and mentally drained due to work makes one just as weary as physical exertion.

Freder Frederson said...

Freder - ask yourself why you care about Althouse bitching.

Like I said above. If I were a Wisconsin taxpayer, I would be bitter that my tax dollars were going to such an ungrateful, arrogant and apparently uncaring employee.

Alex said...

Like I said above. If I were a Wisconsin taxpayer, I would be bitter that my tax dollars were going to such an ungrateful, arrogant and apparently uncaring employee.

Unless Althouse was ripping of the taxpayer by NOT doing her job when she's being PAID to do it, you really have no complaint. Are you telling me union guys don't bitch & moan?

Browndog said...

Well, maybe tomorrow Professor Althouse can opine on the 4th Amendment.

Yesterday, Indiana kicked the shit out of it-

Today, The United States Supreme Court finsihed it off

No peeking at the PDF, Ann

Or, have you, hence the motivation behind this post? (We won't tell)

Kirk Parker said...

Freder,

No, it's not dangerous, at least not at our local company. The worker sits in his truck cab and drives around for his entire shift.

All that sitting might be an issue if he's prone to form clots or something, and he doesn't get that much exercise out of it, either--but how's that any different than for the typical computer programmer.

Shanna said...

There are hard jobs, and then there are hard jobs. While digging a ditch is physically draining, it's emotionally and mentally crystal clean.

Exactly. I didn't hugely enjoy working retail or hourly jobs like that, but I never worried about them after I got home. Likewise, I never had any desire to work on those things from home.

Which is the reason why those types of jobs are "non-exempt" and jobs like law professor are "exempt" and why it is weird when you try to make an exempt employee non exempt...

Freder Frederson said...

No, it's not dangerous, at least not at our local company. The worker sits in his truck cab and drives around for his entire shift.

Have you ever been to a transfer station, observed an entire shift at a landfill or sorting facility, or tried to clear a jam on a trash compresser? Until you do, I suggest, you STFU.

Scott M said...

Likewise, I never had any desire to work on those things from home.

We can both probably agree that's it's hard to work from home when you're a ditch digger.

B said...

'For Althouse, or anyone else, to pretend that anyone would do it for any other reason than it is a way to make an honest buck is to demean the intelligence of the people who do the work.'

I can't seem to find any comment(s) pretending this or anything close to this. Please point it/them out.

BTW: Your writing style and some characteristic phraseology is very similar to another off and on commenter here. That commenter also has a tendency to set up strawmen by falsely attributing viewpoints/opinions to people and then fore away at his own strawmen.

Freder Frederson said...

Unless Althouse was ripping of the taxpayer by NOT doing her job when she's being PAID to do it,

Considering the volume of posts Althouse maintains on this site, if I were a Wisconsin taxpayer I would certainly wonder how much time she was actually devoting to the job she is be paid for.

Quasimodo said...

I don't understand how they can stop you from working for free.

the very thought is anathema in a union shop like Wi

B said...

'Have you ever been to a transfer station...'

Really moving the goal posts here.

Freder Frederson said...

can't seem to find any comment(s) pretending this or anything close to this. Please point it/them out

Well then you are about as dense as DBQ:

Cleaning my office and picking up my garbage are not difficult jobs. I see these jobs being done, and they are not grueling at all.

You don't want people to enjoy their work. If it were my job to collect the trash, I would find the good in it and appreciate what I had. I assume that's what people who have these jobs do. Why do you pity them? It's humiliating, really. Work is honorable and rewarding.

As for your accusation that I am some kind of sock puppet. I have never posted on this blog under any other name. Why on earth would I? I have put up with all kinds of abuse here (including Ann calling me an asshole and Cedarford threatening to lynch me). I can take anything you, or anyone else here, dishes out.

Freder Frederson said...

Really moving the goal posts here.

How is that moving the goal posts? Do you think that once the garbage is picked up in front of your house, that is the end of it? That the garbage truck is some sort of TARDIS where the trash just disappears into a black hole?

jeff said...

"They do the job because it is the best one they can get. They would much rather be doing almost anything else. "

I spent several years in that kind of blue collar job. Union job of course. Worked with a guy with a masters degree, I asked him why in the world he was working here, and he told me it paid far more money than being a social worker. It could be physical, but you did your 8 hours and went home and forgot about it until the next day. I can think of a lot of advantages of that job over the white collar one I have now.

Scott M said...

I can think of a lot of advantages of that job over the white collar one I have now.

That was my point earlier exactly.

B said...

'Well then you are about as dense as DBQ:

"Cleaning my..."'

Then I agree with the several commenters who say you don't know what your talking about because neither of the examples you gave come close to supporting this:

'For Althouse, or anyone else, to pretend that anyone would do it for any other reason than it is a way to make an honest buck is to demean the intelligence of the people who do the work.'

Not even a good try.

B said...

'Really moving the goal posts here.

How is that moving the goal posts? Do you think that once the garbage is picked up in front of your house, that is the end of it? '

Of course I don't think that. To use your debating style, you're a moron for suggesting that I do think that. But it is irrelevent here because it is not what you were talking about or what people were responding to.

You did not start out with the premise that you were talking about the garbage flow from the office trashcan to the landfill. You very specifically were talking about the people, and only those people, who cleaned Ann Althouse's office and emptied her trash. Those were the people you called exhausted at the end of the day, moved from there into claiming a dangerous job collecting garbage etc, and now are at the landfill.

This is expanding the original premise as far as you think necessary in an attempt to defend some rather stupid opening statements - you are moving the goalposts rather than admit that your opening position was ill thought out. In the process, you've called people stupid, morons, and dense when as far as I can see, all they have done is try to get you to defend your own remarks.

Crimso said...

Freder is an old timer here and a pretty straight shooter. I don't agree with him most of the time, but I doubt very seriously he's engaged in any sock puppetry.

Alex said...

Freder is an old timer here and a pretty straight shooter.

Still a bitter asshole.

B said...

'I don't agree with him most of the time, but I doubt very seriously he's engaged in any sock puppetry.'

Then I stand corrected. The ubiquitous debating style of the left makes it hard to distinguish individual contributors sometimes.

Scott M said...

Oh, I don't know about that B. Maybe in general, but our resident leftists are of varying degrees of strident and shrill. A couple are laughably easy to spot.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

You may not be a liar, but you sure are stupid. The states can make laws that are more restrictive than federal law.

Reaaaallly?

If States can make laws that are more restrictive than federal law, then explain the issues around Arizona law SB1070 then.

Or is it only for laws of which you approve?

California labor laws are MORE generous than the federal laws and they don't arbitrarily reclassify employment types from exempt to non exempt.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

but I am not even allowed to read it. I'm deprived of pay today, and on top of that, the hands of the state are clasped tight over my eyes and my typing hands are bound. I cannot read or write in any subjects in the range of my professorial job.

Sounds like the first paragraph of The Story of O.

Lucien said...

@DustBunnyQueen:

Whether a state law is preempted by federal law is a question of Congressional intent. Some statutes, like ERISA have specific provisions that express the intent of Congress to preempt state law in the area. Others, like the Fair Labor Standards Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 specifically allow states to enact legislation that provides more protection for employees than the federal legislation does, with the general idea that the federal government is providing a "floor" rather than a ceiling in terms of employee protection.

Sometimes, Congress is silent on the issue, and courts seek to figure out what Congress intended. So, for example, a lawsuit alleging something that is actually or agurably an unfair labor practice (in the private sector) would be preempted to allow primary jursidcition by the Nalitonal Labor Relations Board, while a lawsuit allegin breach of a collective parining agreement under §301 of the Labor Managment Realtions Act would also be preempted.

Although similar, to the doctrine of preemption, the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution independently bars state stautes that directly conflict with/contradict federal statutes.

The argument over Airzona SB 1070 involves many aspects of preemption doctrines, and personally, I have trouble with the position taken by the government because it seems to depend more on the intent of a particular administration in the Executive Branch, rather than the intent of Congress, but I'm not a federal judge, so noone asks me.

Fred Drinkwater said...

Exempt employees, hourly accounting, and federal regulations do not make a happy mix.
In about 1985 my company (a maker of MIL-SPEC and rugged minicomputers) was subject to the "1411 rollup" accounting rules because the percentage of government business we were doing exceeded some threshold. Salaried software engineers were required to fill out timecards to a granularity of 15 minutes. We were told that violations would cause fines and potential jail time.
After a few weeks a group of engineers assembled a list of questions intended to clarify the rules, such as:

1. We are limited to recording 40 hours per week. Currently, every engineer puts in substantially more than 40 hours per week. Should we 1) work only 40 hours, or 2) "scale" our actual hours into a nominal 40 hours, or 3) not record hours beyond 40, or 4) something else?

2. The test systems in the development lab run 24/7. How should we bill lab expenses for night-time and weekend testing on projects, since billing actual time will normally lead to more than 40 hours per week for many projects?

3. How should we bill time spent checking on overnight test runs by dial-up from home? Should we stop doing that?

4. Time cards must be turned in by 5 PM Thursday, but are required to be accurate through 5 PM Friday. Should we guess about Fridays? Is there a procedure to correct the cards if we guess wrong?

We compiled a list of 10 questions, and sent them to Legal, Accounting, HR, and our direct management.

We received 0 responses. So we stumbled on, working as before, getting paid as before. To paraphrase from a "Reacher" novel:
"That's insane!"
"Only in reality, not on paper."

Largo said...

I may be way too late here, but please -- ignore the troll.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Since it's now the next day, I can ask:

Doesn't that violate your first amendment rights?

( I assume that the answer is no, otherwise you would have stood up for those rights, and blogged about doing so. So I'm curious about the reasoning. )

J Allen said...

This has the makings for a novel… “It was a rainy day as the University Law Professor sat in front of her laptop at home during her mandatory furlough day. The mandate, while legally required by The State, tore at the essence of her alpha female spirit. Though she knew better she opened the cover of her laptop and, succumbing to the temptation, began to quietly type. A feeling of freedom began to course through her veins when there occurred a sudden thunderous explosion at her front door. Multiple beams of laser light illuminated the room as the fully armored STD (Stifle Teacher Dedication) Unit swept into the apartment executing a no-knock, no-warrant search/enforcement of the furlough…”

On another thought, just suppose that you had received a ticket and decided to take it to court and your court date fell on your furlough day, would you be able to represent yourself or would you have to hire a lawyer?