Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
Or vice-versa, maybe…well whatever. Sometimes, when a maelstrom develops at the intersection of two dysfunctional elements, when it all settles down the result is a correct decision.
The California Supreme Court says employers are under no obligation to ensure that workers take legally mandated lunch and rest breaks.
The ruling Thursday comes after worker’s attorneys argued that abuses are routine and widespread when companies aren’t required to issue direct orders to take breaks.
But the high court sided with business when it ruled that requiring companies to order breaks is unmanageable and that those decisions should be left to workers.
“Unmanageable” is an understatement. This is a classic case of one of my most bitter complaints about government, the non-producers telling the producers how to produce. There’s still a widespread lack of understanding about how bad the problem can get, when the non-producers do so after having spent lifetimes not doing anything productive…as is the case here. They start to lose track of where rule-making can & cannot be effective, and drift toward futile things like repealing the law of gravity.
The court, on the other hand, just going by this brief summary has engaged in classic judicial activism. Maybe when time permits I’ll find something in the complete decision that changes my view of that. For now, my sense is they have reached the correct decision by the wrong means.
I’m seeing some things around p. 33 that pose problems for that view, though.
Hohnbaum contends that an employer has one additional obligation: to ensure that employees do no work during meal periods. He places principal reliance on a series of DLSE opinion letters. In 2001, in the course of discussing rest breaks, the DLSE distinguished an employer‟s meal break duties and observed that for meal breaks “an employer has an affirmative obligation to ensure that workers are actually relieved of all duty, not performing any work, and free to leave the worksite . . . .” In 2002, the DLSE reiterated the point:
with regard to meal periods, “an employer has an affirmative obligation to ensure that workers are actually relieved of all duty, not performing any work, and free to leave the worksite…” In 2002, the DLSE reiterated the point: with regard to meal periods, “an employer has an affirmative obligation to ensure that workers are actually relieved of all duty, not performing any work, and…free to leave the employer‟s premises.” …
We are not persuaded. The difficulty with the view that an employer must ensure no work is done—i.e., prohibit work—is that it lacks any textual basis in the wage order or statute. While at one time the IWC‟s wage orders contained language clearly imposing on employers a duty to prevent their employees from working during meal periods, we have found no order in the last half-century continuing that obligation. Indeed, the obligation to ensure employees do no work may in some instances be inconsistent with the fundamental employer obligations associated with a meal break: to relieve the employee of all duty and relinquish any employer control over the employee and how he or she spends the time.
This implies that the phrase “requiring companies to order breaks is unmanageable” may have been in error; the above excerpt is quibbling about what the law does & does not say, which would be a much more proper function. I’ll have to go over it at beer o’clock tonight to see if I approve.
There’s no way I can be unhappy with the result of the decision, though. This is the very worst part of California lawmaking methodology — yes, the rest of the nation is watching us because we’re California, but I cannot help but think the rest of the nation has been laughing at this. How idiotic. How heavy-handed, how Gestapo-ish. And how utterly, utterly, unrealistic; at no point could it ever have been said there were fewer so-called “workers” doing their working six hours without a break, after the rules were put in place (or re-interpreted) than there were before.
A precarious situation has resulted for us — the business climate situation, apart from being generally hostile which is plenty bad enough, has resulted in an over-saturation in our commercial districts of the multi-state operations. By this, I mean brand names that are based in California as well as in other states. (And by “over-saturation” what I really mean is, an under-saturation of all the other kind; they’ve pulled up stakes and moved out because they simply can’t afford the nonsense.) The problem with the tax base relying overly much on these part-in, part-out leviathans is that they don’t need to move out to move out. They simply decide to expand this office & not that one.
One can close one’s eyes and hear the incredulity in their board rooms. “Now, waitaminnit…in our California offices, we have to supervise the employees and make sure…what???”
Maybe the justices of the California State Supreme Court deserve more credit than I gave ’em. We’ll find out when time permits.
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