This week: Coffee cups, franchises, savings accounts, Uber, Airbnb, wage theft, employment contracts, a cobra, a raccoon, and a mammoth.
So are they responsible for franchise employees or not?
Starbucks corporate pioneered the hashtag-on-coffeecup political campaign — and now Washington State baristas are doing it too. But perhaps the most potent use of the form to date happened in Providence, Rhode Island this week, where a Dunkin Donuts worker wrote #blacklivesmatter on a coffee cup before handing it to the police offer who ordered it.
That's not exactly the flattened-out cheeriness so deeply embedded in expectations of service work… which is perhaps part of the reason why the local police guild got pretty worked up about the whole thing, even suggesting that the sloganeering implied the coffee was somehow tainted.
Dunkin Donuts corporate quickly apologized for the “incident.” and whether or not you think affirmative declarations of human worth and implicit calls for police accountability are something to apologize for, it’s worth noting the the company is a franchisor — and adamantly opposed to the idea that they and their franchisees should be held jointly responsible for employees’ wages and working conditions. But their employees’ agit-prop is apparently a different matter?
A penny saved is… more than half of Americans can manage
So what’s the plan to deal with an emergency if you don’t have any emergency funds? Many people say they’d borrow money from family and friends to cover the gap. Too bad their friends and family are likely in the same situation, just one small accident away from the edge.
Yep, that definitely sounds like a marriage of Uber & Airbnb
Julieta Yang, who worked for several years in the home of a high-ranking Uber exec married to a high-ranking Airbnb exec, is suing her former employers for sexual harassment and wage theft. The allegations are appalling: on her first night of work, she reports, the Uber exec walked into the kitchen naked to watch her cook… and the ongoing “sexually hostile work and home environment” continued. Plus, she was paid only $450 a week, regardless of how many hours she worked, never got overtime or breaks, and was required to be available whenever called upon.
If all that’s not Uber economy enough for you, Yang also says that she was required to sign contracts stating that she worked 30 hours per week for $12.50 an hour, despite the fact that she was working much longer hours at a flat rate.
And if you noticed that those numbers work out to $375 a week not $450 a week, you might also want to know that before working for Uber, dude worked for Goldman Sachs.
Rest in pieces
Elvis, a king cobra who had gone missing from his Florida home for several weeks, was found by authorities investigating hissing sounds coming from underneath a neighbor’s dryer. Elvis put up a valiant fight, but three officers eventually captured the 10-foot-long pet with tongs, and then secured him in a cat carrier before he was positively identified.
An innocent mammoth was exhumed from a soybean field in Michigan, after being mistaken for a fence post. Before its grave was disturbed, it had been peacefully buried in the pond where it was left by the humans who killed it 15,000 years ago and ate most of it.
And a three-legged raccoon burdened with the tedious nickname Tripod is going to be allowed to stay in Terminal 66, its home of 7 years, which is about to be renovated by the Port of Seattle. It’s a surprising move for an organization with a less-than-compassionate record towards sea life and humans.