Saturday, June 27, 2015

Official Reply to Senator Warner's Newsletter

In the post just below this one, Senator Mark Warner invited Virginia voters to share our comments on the prospective federal oversight of online work-from-home. Here's mine:


"
Sir:

My thoughts are, "Let's keep it simple and flexible." No need to clutter up the Internet with efforts to track anybody's work hours, and by all means let's preserve the anonymity that protects people who might be considered less desirable in some way, during a conventional job interview, from discrimination. (Quotas mandating that X number of women be hired don't do anything for the ones who have the wrong look, quotas mandating that X number of Blacks be hired don't help the actual ghetto youth who needed the help, etc., but on the Internet the quality of work done is the only proof that an employee is not in literal fact a dog.)

Protection for people who work from home online might begin with protecting their right to payment for work done under the terms of their contract. Not regulating how much or how little people may agree to receive per job, of course, but ensuring that people who have agreed to sell a certain job for a certain price will receive that price. Bubblews.com is a widely known offender; the company just decided last winter not to pay out thousands of dollars the company had already claimed it was sending to various writers and photographers, worldwide. (But I suspect they targeted residents of states like Virginia that don't have small-claims court.)

Sincerely,

Priscilla King "


An afterthought: Why did I pick discrimination as a primary reason for preserving online anonymity? Because race consciousness is in the air? Because I was writing to a Democrat? Because I was writing to a relatively rich person who has no way to imagine how precarious the financial security of people poor enough to write for the Internet can be? All or any or none of the above--I don't know.