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What to do when your employer is less-than-scrupulous?

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  • What to do when your employer is less-than-scrupulous?

    So, I have this friend... really, it's a friend. I love my job and work for good people.

    Anyway, my friend started at this 'design mill,' which is responsible for a lot of the club flyers so prevalent in South Florida. He took the job out of desperation because the unemployment funds were nearly drained, and he's making about 50% of what he used to make.

    Beside the obvious irritation of being underpaid, the designers are worked like crazy and endure weird and bad and illegal practices:

    - In an aim toward 'professionalism,' they are required to wear crappy company t-shirts every day.
    - The boss blares hip-hop music all day (like, I call there and have a hard time hearing).
    - The bosses talk rudely to their customers. (I know this because I placed a print order with them as a test.)
    - At the bequest of the bosses, the salespeople sell the company as an ad agency ('tell them we can do anything,' say the bosses) and the designers get in trouble when they don't know how to fulfill the overselling by the salespeople.
    - Designers are required to take photos; the attitude is, 'whatever is good enough.'
    - My friend believes the computer equipment and software is stolen.
    - They will not supply drawing paper or pencils (encouraging direct computer work, which is completely contrary to design principles), so my friend takes his own.
    - They tell people they print on 12 pt. paper and print on 10 pt. instead, presumably because most people don't know the difference.
    - The bosses require the designers to lift photography off the web (from well-known stock houses, mostly, and we are talking large volume) and use Photoshop to take out watermarks. Again, 'whatever is good enough,' apparently, since everyone knows web images are generally not good enough for printing... so they end up using a series of Gaussian blur and unsharp mask applications to attempt a camouflage of the low quality.
    - At the end of the first pay period, one week, my friend was given cash. He also was not given the full amount he should of been given. We anticipated this, so he asked, 'Shouldn't I be filling out some Federal tax paperwork?' (there is no state tax in Florida), to which his boss said, 'Eh, we'll put you on payroll next week.' He still has not been given anything official to fill out -- which I'm sure violates all kinds of labor laws. They don't even have emergency contact information.

    Anyway, it's obviously not a good place to work. While he doesn't plan to be there long, work is work... and my friend would like to know what kind of trouble he's risking for himself. He doesn't care about the company, but he doesn't want to endanger himself legally or otherwise.

    Does anyone have experience with this kind of thing, or can you think of anything that might happen?

    Thanks in advance.
    April

    +++ april carter +++

    Coming soon: www.sugarsock.com
    ---

    renticulous

  • #2
    Well basicly if he doesn't pay federal taxes he will get screwed by the IRS.

    I think he should just report them to the IRS, Getty Images and attempt to register all the software they use on all the machines.

    On top of that I would encorage him to jump ship ASAP cause a place like that is going down and he might not even be given a days notice so stability is out of the question.

    Before All of this I would list all the customers and start my own freelance career with that information. Because if he doesn't do that he is just participating and will be subject to alot of broken law charges cause the IRS will see it like you know you have to pay federal taxes so don't give me that I didn't know sh!t.


    'Adventure, Excitement, A Jedi craves not these things.'
    'Anger...fear...aggression. The dark side of the Force are they.'

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    • #3
      Get out fast!
      The bosses will say, 'I don't know where my employees got the images. They're stolen?'
      Your bud's in for a heap of trouble if he stays there.

      Specialization is for insects...

      R.H.

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      • #4
        Thanks, guys... he's on his way out.

        +++ april carter +++

        Coming soon: www.sugarsock.com
        ---

        renticulous

        Comment


        • #5
          Yea Super sized red flags when up with that question.

          You shore their not importing drugs while there at it.


          'Adventure, Excitement, A Jedi craves not these things.'
          'Anger...fear...aggression. The dark side of the Force are they.'

          Comment


          • #6
            hook me up with some getty images : ) hehe



            ‘Our great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is privately controlled. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the civilized world. No government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of small groups of men.’ - Woodrow Wilson

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            • #7
              Ok, if I was in his position I would be keeping track of exactly how much money he got from them and finding out how much he'd have to pay in taxes on that amount.... better safe than sorry, imo.

              I'm also bitchy enough to call or email adobe and ask if the company's software is legite and licensed.

              And DEFINTATELY tell him to get out of there ASAP!

              "Who am I? Where did I come from? Who are these demons, and why do they relentlessly cross my path?"

              Comment


              • #8
                Tell him to call the Labor board. If he reports them they will get in HUGE trouble. It's highly illegal and he could benefit from this. then he can take all their customers as freelance.

                'I will become the most powerful Jedi ever!'
                "Even when I'm not at 100%, I'm still 110% better then anyone else!"

                Check out my indie comic books at http://www.crycomic.com and http://www.assassinsguild.net/

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                • #9
                  defjoe said...
                  Tell him to call the Labor board. If he reports them they will get in HUGE trouble. It's highly illegal and he could benefit from this. then he can take all their customers as freelance.
                  That is what I'm saying. Defjoe we waiting on someones failure for our own gain. We are pure evil! [img]/emoticons/devil.gif[/img]


                  'Adventure, Excitement, A Jedi craves not these things.'
                  'Anger...fear...aggression. The dark side of the Force are they.'

                  Comment

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