Wednesday, March 23, 2005

In the news: "HP accused of labor violations cover-up"

HP accused of labor violations cover-up | Tech News on ZDNet

From the news today, with interesting connections to the "Secrets of Silicon Valley" video we watched before Spring Break: "HP is facing a class action suit from 34 workers who claim they were "incorrectly classified by the company as 'contractors' or 'contingent workers' or other similar names" when they were actually "common law" employees according to criteria including a questionnaire used by the Internal Revenue Service. The suit alleges the workers were deprived of benefits such as vacation, holidays and leaves of absence. The suit, which seeks more than $300 million in damages, claims to be on behalf of more than 3,000 employees throughout the country who have been mislabeled by HP as contractors."


  1. Thanks for posting this article.
    I wonder how much money HP has to lose in a law suit in order to make treating employees well "worth it" for them. I bet they have saved much more than $300 million over the years screwing over employees. ugh!

  2. This doesn't stop at HP. From what I can determine, most major corporations either outsource, contract, or temp out large chunks of their workforce. Root cause of this? High benefit costs. Pension contributions. It takes an incredible amount of time and money to fund, track, and distribute benefits, and the costs are enormous. The public wants cheap products and budget fares, well, we're REALLY going to pay for them later when the contract folks have no safety nets. I've been on both sides of this. It's going to build to a major ethical dilemma, even amount to a civil right to benefits, and one that I think will land squarely in the laps of consumers.