Saturday, April 05, 2008

A small RANT!

It never effing ends, you just fight the same frigging battles over and over. Forever.

Last week an animation designer walks into my office, wanting me to review his Personal Service Contract (sometimes known as an "employment agreement.") Nothing new or extraordinary about that, I look at members' PSCs all the time ...

And this one isn't particularly different than most of the others. It gives the weekly salary amount; it describes the term (the length of employment; "at will" in this case, since the company reserves the right to lay the person off when the spirit moves or, as the contract says: "the producer guarantees no minimum number of weeks of employment.")

Then there's the usual boilerplate about the job being "work for hire" and the company owning all rights throughout the universe and on every type of machine or distribution network known to Man ... and blah, blah and blah.

So far so good. Then the guy says to me:

"They don't want me to ... ah ... tell other people my salary."

I look up. "That's against California state law.


"There's specific rules against that."

And then I look at the boiler plate on the last page and there it is: "Everything in this agreement is confidential"

Meaning, of course "Keep your yap shut about the money you make."

Neato jet, in writing yet. No matter how many damn times you put up a post saying "That's illegal," no matter how often you complain to one studio or another, here comes another company telling employees: Don't ... DO NOT ... share wage information! The fact that the law says "Can't do that!" means nothing. The fact that I will call the company's labor relations department whining about it and they will make soft cooing noises about how "it was a mistake" and how they will "talk to the production people about it" also means nothing.

Six months from now, after this little "error" gets corrected, some corporation will pull the same maneuver yet again, some employee will come to his union rep, and once more we will be off to the races.

Going 'round ... and 'round ... and 'round.


Anonymous said...

And to conclude this statement.. people are monkeys. Seriously though.. I wonder if there is anything we can do about this online to at least help the problem a little. Since you know, nothing on the web is "confidential"

Steve Hulett said...

The thought for the day: "Know your rights."

What I encounter over and over are people who have no idea what companies are prohibited from doing. And what they, the employee can do.

If they knew, preventive measures could be taken. So I keep sharing info again and then again.

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