Oh no! We hope everything is OK!
[Image via Ramey Pix.]
Wouldn't you be pissed if you were paid in swag instead of cash for all your hard work?? We would be too if were one of the TWO THOUSAND people working during All-Star weekend in NYC last month!
They were paid in swag, giveaway items, tchotchkes, NOT MONEY, instead of real paychecks!
But wait — weren't they volunteers? How does that work? Do volunteers HAVE to be compensated at all?? One worker is so pissed about it that they've filed a lawsuit to get the wages he thinks they deserve!
He claims the organization broke the law by not paying "volunteers" actual wages for doing real jobs, which included stamping wrists, stuffing flyers in bags, and even filing paperwork. It's John Chen who thinks that's not volunteer work, though, but work that would normally be done by paid employees!
At least for Chen, he was given a shirt, cap, cinch drawstring backpack, free admission to the FanFest for himself and a guest, a water bottle and a baseball for all his hard volunteering. He says being paid with this stuff violates federal and state labor laws — and they should be paid at least minimum wage!
What's weird is that he VOLUNTEERED for this job, knowing full well he wouldn't be paid because he would be a VOLUNTEER. We're not sure how he has any grounds at all, even if the MLB DID make a killing during the event!
He's not only looking for pay for himself and all other workers (dating back to the 2007 All-Star Weekend), but also for the MLB to end the volunteer work program! Here's what he said in a statement:
"I very much enjoyed working at FanFest, but the minimum wage laws are important. People who cannot afford to work for free should be able to have the same experience I had."
If they can't work for free, then they shouldn't volunteer! If you can't afford to have an experience, how is that the MLB's fault?? This would become a JOB, not a VOLUNTEER POSITION, in other words!
We really don't think this guy has any kind of play here as a volunteer, but we'll be watching this case for sure!
[Image via AP Images.]