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Sotomayor ruled in favor of minimum wage for homeless workers in class action suit

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Adelante Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 11:08 AM
Original message
Sotomayor ruled in favor of minimum wage for homeless workers in class action suit
After 7-Year Fight, Homeless Get $816,000 in Back Wages
By NINA BERNSTEIN
Published: Wednesday, October 25, 2000


They slept on plastic chairs or in makeshift beds in a church, rising to put in long shifts in menial jobs, like security patrols at banks across Manhattan's East Side, or cleaning toilets at a shelter. Instead of being paid minimum wage, they got $1 an hour and promises of a path out of homelessness that never seemed to lead anywhere.

Tonight, 198 of the men and women who were homeless when they worked on streets and in buildings around Grand Central Terminal during the 1990's will be handed more money than most have ever seen at any one time, all in back wages totaling $816,000.

The money is the result of a ruling in a seven-year-long federal class-action lawsuit against two major business improvement districts in Midtown Manhattan, the Grand Central Partnership and the 34th Street Partnership. The homeless plaintiffs won in 1998, but received no money because of an appeal, until an unusual settlement this month cleared the way for tonight's payments and celebration.

-snip

Winning either money or vindication seemed elusive to many of the plaintiffs even after a trial and a federal judge's ruling in their favor two and a half years ago. The judge, Sonia Sotomayor, then a Federal District Court judge in Manhattan and now on the Federal Court of Appeals, ruled that the business districts had violated minimum wage laws, had used the cheap labor of so-called trainees to undercut competing companies, and had contributed the resulting profits to hefty executive salaries.


http://www.nytimes.com/2000/10/25/nyregion/after-7-year...

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anonymous171 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 11:14 AM
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1. Sounds like a good judge to me. nt
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Uzybone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 11:31 AM
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2. Yeah, I like this kind of judge
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uponit7771 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 04:21 PM
Response to Original message
3. Well, if she doesn't make USSC justice cause KKKons hate women she'll make a good POTUS
Edited on Tue May-26-09 04:23 PM by uponit7771
...candidate to run against Palin in 16 no doubt
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uponit7771 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 04:30 PM
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4. Bump...
...
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 04:34 PM
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5. Rec'd~ That ought to get the
party of no's goat.
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Vinca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 04:43 PM
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6. Well, that makes her Satan to the reich wing.
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Enrique Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 04:48 PM
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7. what could the defense have been?
the lawyers dragged the case out for 7 years. How could they defend not paying minimum wage?
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Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 06:27 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. That's easy
Common public opinion is that homeless people aren't actually people.

Menial labor is also regarded in the same boat. If you wash floors, fry food, or lift crates, you're not really employed.

When you have not-people performing not-jobs, you're justified in paying them not-wages, apparently
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 11:04 PM
Response to Reply #9
14. Quite right; you've encapsulated the way such matters are viewed.
.
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bettyellen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 10:44 PM
Response to Reply #7
13. i think they were equating homeless with the petty criminals who also did this work for litte money.
these are the folk who cleaned up times square o Disney could take over, sigh.
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Wednesdays Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 06:13 PM
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8. K&R
:kick:
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LittleBlue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 06:28 PM
Response to Original message
10. The more I read, the more impressed with this pick I become
She was the best pick by far, politically.
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 06:37 PM
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11. The corporate monsters will hate her. After all, she ruled against cheating
homeless people and "contribut(ing) the resulting profits to hefty executive salaries." How many of our Congress would have done the same, and how many are owned by the money men?
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 08:05 PM
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12. Good decision, but basically a no brainer in terms of the applicable law
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