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Sun Nov 25, 2012, 02:50 AM

 

Federal Judge Announces Wageless Job Opening, Calls Working for Free a 'Moral Commitment' [View all]

Traditionally, the most prestigious job a law school graduate can get straight out of school is a federal judicial clerkship. Holders of these one-year positions are usually much sought-after by big law firms and other desirable employers, and the competition among law students for federal clerkships is ferocious...

In response, the government has created an online application site for judicial clerks... William Martinez, a federal judge in Denver, is currently using the site to solicit applications for a standard year-long clerkship in his chambers.

While the requirements for the job look quite ordinary...the position’s salary is not. More precisely, this job features a salary of zero: “This position is a gratuitous service appointment,” the posting announces, while going on to make clear that the successful candidate will waive any claim to salary, benefits or any other compensation, and that he or she can be fired at any time, for any reason, or no reason, during the course of the year-long appointment.

The zero-salary job is merely the logical extension of what has been called “the internship rip-off,” which allows employers to exploit unpaid labor under the guise of educational training... The federal government gives Judge Martinez the money to pay the salaries of two clerks, but he has decided he would like a third one, so he’ll just hire another clerk, and pay that person nothing at all...

The Fair Labor Standards Act does not, in general, allow employers to not pay their employees. Now the government is full of clever lawyers, who are busy trying to construct ever-larger loopholes in the FLSA, by for instance arguing that the requirement that employees be paid doesn’t apply to people who “volunteer” to work for a public employer...

Before becoming a federal judge, William Martinez was a lawyer for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

http://www.alternet.org/economy/federal-judge-announces-wageless-job-opening-calls-working-free-moral-commitment?page=0%2C1

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Reply Federal Judge Announces Wageless Job Opening, Calls Working for Free a 'Moral Commitment' [View all]
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