Friday, March 31, 2006


Been busy being turned down for jobs, so that’s why I haven’t been blogging much this week. But here goes…

*Why can’t the law school maintain working bathrooms in the library? The stall in the third floor library men’s room has been out of order for the entire week. (I know what you’re thinking – blame the strike. But no, we can’t blame UNICCO because skilled tradesmen like plumbers on campus are employed by the university, not UNICCO). Earlier this week the entire second floor men’s room was out of order. I used it anyway. This is really pathetic that the school can’t provide working bathrooms on every floor of the library.

* To the idiot who made a comment on one of my earlier posts that said “No one is entitled to a job just because they got good grades in law school”: Well, you’re an idiot. No one – well, not me, anyway – is suggesting that I am “entitled” to a job. If that’s what you think I am trying to say when I lament the fact that I haven’t gotten a job, well, nothing I can say will set you straight because that’s so far off base that you just don’t get it. I am working at finding a job. Hard. I am old enough and I’ve had enough experience in the real grownup world (ie. not college or law school land) that I know nothing is guaranteed when it comes to jobs. And I don’t think anyone else here really feels entitled to go to a job. Maybe they feel that way at the Ivy League law schools, but not here…

*There was a sit-in and big protest at the university president’s office this week. Shalala keeps astounding us with the unbelievable statement that even a third grader would understand is totally hollow that the university is neutral in this dispute because it’s between the workers and their employer (the contractor, not the university). I literally can’t understand how she can say this to anyone or write it in a statement to the campus with a straight face. This particular aspect of the dispute is not about politics. Whether or not you support unions or support this strike, you can’t possibly believe her.

*In addition to the awesome news on Thursday that I didn’t get a job I really, really wanted and thought I had a good chance at getting, my computer also keeled over and died again later on Thursday. Cool.

*We had a meeting yesterday about registration and someone from the career center gave a talk that was so, so helpful. I feel so much better now. How do those people justify their salaries? It’s inexplicable…


At 4:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wait until you get to go to the oh-so-fun graduation meeting where Dean V tells you that every 5th person in the room will fail the bar exam! Woo hoo!

At 10:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are good legal reasons for the University to take the stance it has, aside from the economic.

If the UNICCO employees are deemed to be constructive employees of UM, then UM is liable for their torts. The IRS could hold UM accountable for withholding taxes if UNICCO doesn't pay. There are other legal implications if relationship between the UNICCO employees and UM is deemed to be a constructive employment rather than independent contractor relationship.

In Florida, determining whether or not a person is an independent contractor or employee for legal purposes is not based merely on the label given by the parties. In fact, a multifactor test much like the one articulated by the 2nd rstmt of agency is used. If UM exerts too much *control* over the employement conditions of the workers (wages, benefits, etc.) a court could rule that UM is really the employer of the workers and UNICCO is effectively a strawman in an attempt by UM to avoid liability for the workers.

Example/hypo: UNICCO landscaper accidentally slices off the tounge of liberal law professor who foolishly decides to hold classes outside during the strike and gets too close to the worker and his hedgetrimmer. If worker is independent contractor, prof sues worker and UNICCO, UM has no liability. But if the court decides that UM exerts sufficient control over the employee such that by Florida law the employee is a UM employee for legal purposes, then UM on the hook as the worker's employee.

This control issue also has the potential to create rights claims in the worker against UM, such as benefits or being fired only for cause.

Bottom line, if Shalala gets too involved in the worker's employment conditions, she runs the risk of effectively nullifying the independent contractor status and opening up UM to a whole host of liabilities.

Are these issues on her mind? Hard to say. I haven't seen her articulate them, but they're there nonetheless.
And they're good reasons for her not to get involved.


At 12:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i just wanted to say i'm really sorry that the job search has been so tough. i'm wishing you the best of luck!! also, i know some people who have resigned to taking unpaid internships/clerkships their 2L summers, which at least gives you good experience. it's something to think about. (these people are on other law journals, too, with good grades and everything)


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