Capitalism Wins! We've officially reached neofeudalism

If you are a worker then you are a serf. Not figuratively a serf. Literally a serf.

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A Wisconsin court has granted a hospital's request to block seven healthcare workers from leaving to start new jobs at a competitor.

ThedaCare, a hospital in Appleton, Wisconsin, asked the court for a temporary restraining order to prevent the employees from accepting jobs at Ascension Northeast Wisconsin, a competitor hospital.

Mark J. McGinnis, a judge for the Outagamie County Circuit Court, granted ThedaCare the temporary restraining order on January 20. Attorneys representing both hospitals agreed to meet the morning of January 24 to see if they could come to another resolution.

At what point is it mandatory that we all bow and scrape when the master's carriage comes by?
Obviously capitalism only applies to people that have capital.

Fortunately a judge lifted this feudal contract today. Maybe it was because that it cast capitalism in an unflattering light.

Ascension Northeast Wisconsin said in a statement before Monday’s hearing that ThedaCare “had an opportunity but declined to make competitive counter offers to retain its former employees.”

The employees, members of ThedaCare’s interventional radiology and cardiovascular team, were at-will employees and were not contractually obligated to stay with ThedaCare for a fixed time, according to Ascension, which is part of one of the largest Catholic health care systems in the United States.

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Personally I welcome this transition from fake democracy to real feudalism.

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13 users have voted.

I suspect the same court would find it appropriate to move the jobs to a low wage region/country if it could. After all, it is a Free Market.

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11 users have voted.

In Texas, no more than 14 days until you have to appear in court to fight for a temporary injunction that lasts until final trial. TRO's are not "heard", just handed to a judge, he/she reads the affidavits, signs it, sets a temp hrg asap. It is called "ex parte", only one party has a pleading and affidavit to consider.
It lasted 4 days, so the judge must have given it quite some thought before the TRO was signed.
My Texas procedure is likely to follow much of the US state courts. No State is re-inventing the wheel. (Except Louisiana, Napoleonic code. The rest are common law.)
Judges are also ordering mediation, and that can be a good or bad local rule of a court.
(Local rules are not written or published statues. They are rules of how, when, what to do on cases as the local judge or judges wish.)

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8 users have voted.

@on the cusp
Are you saying that it's common for at-will employees, that are not under any contract, to be forced by a judge to stay at their place of employment against their will?

Because I've never, ever heard of that.

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4 users have voted.

@gjohnsit That said, if they signed any employment contract that precluded them from working for a competitor, and judge anywhere would enjoin them for a brief time, 2 weeks, more or leas, until the temporary hearing could be scheduled.
This is the process of any civil case.
I actually think the TRO (temporary restraining order) was to last 4 days until they could have a mediation. That a is very short TRO.
It was a 4 day period set by the judge to maintain a status quo, and/or prevent serious damage.
Good judge.

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7 users have voted.

@gjohnsit Nobody can force those employees to work those 4 days. What can be done through the emergency order is to prevent them from being hired by a competitor. This issue is about anti-competition, not forced workers. I think the requested TRO was put into place by the judge to make a determination if they would be stopped from seeking employment for those 4 days with a business competitor.

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@on the cusp
but that is incredibly f*ck'd up, because it is being viewed from only one perspective: the employer/capitalist perspective.
No thought is given to the concerns, rights, and the reality of the employees who probably need that paycheck.
There is no argument that can be made that justifies this.

Of course, that is America today.

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4 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

@on the cusp

"at will" employee be enjoined from quitting? Their employer cannot be enjoined from firing them.

In addition, according to the intertubes: "Wisconsin passed a right to work law in 2015, signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker." Doesn't that entail a right to quit?

The only possible "emergency" is that the crappy employer could lose business to a better one.

Assume I am a victim of that TRO, it lasts 4 days during which I am effectively a chattel, on call, with the final decision regarding my "right to work" where I please, in a "Right To Work" state up in the air, until they can hold a hearing as to whether I am a free person or a serf bound to some form for an indefinite indenture. How can that not be a violation of my rights, if only under Amendment XIII? It seems tantamount to "You, el, are herebt ordered to report to and serve xyz corp when and as they see fit, for such continuous duration as they see fit, until such time as we have adjudicated the matter of whether you shall be free to work elsewhere or otherwise cease reporting to said corporation in your favor, and not before." I would've gone straight home and claimed that I am secure in my person against the seizure of my person, thank you very much, which seems, absent a hearing on the matter to have as much basis in law as the Judge's belief that he can arbitrarily dispose of my freedom, against my will, without cause, at any time that he saw fit. Walking off the job is best a tort, not a crime.

be well and have a good one

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5 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@enhydra lutris
I wasn't alone in being confused by cusp's comment.
I'm sure that you had a good point to make, Cusp. But it got muddled at some point.

Oh, well. Another day, another something or other.

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2 users have voted.

@enhydra lutris "At will" is at the will of the employer to hire or fire them for any particular cause.
Right to work is legislation that gives employees the right to work without joining a union, and typically sets their wages at union scale, just doesn't give them other advantages that Unions offer.

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enhydra lutris's picture

@on the cusp

Still sounds punitive. Normally there is substantial compensation exchanged for a covenant not to compete, and it is generally voluntarily entered into and not imposed by some outsider to the employment arrangement. It may be for a short term, but still, some compensation is needed for at least those 4 days, ethically, that is, but that has no part to play in either our economic or legal system.

ah well

be well and have a good one

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3 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@enhydra lutris An emergency TRO is to enjoin or mandate certain actions for the purpose of maintaining the status quo. I am wondering if the employees were given any document to sign saying they would not work for a competitor for so many months or years after quitting, or if it was an oral agreement entered when accepting employment. Those are the only legal issues I can come up with to sustain the order until it could be fleshed out at full hearing before the time lapsed on the TRO.
I can't even tell if the employees are actual parties. If they are, they can sue for compensation for lost wages.
If trade secrets were a part of the problem, those employees would have been given a contract to sign.
I will also say that an employee who can't quit a job if they want to quit is unknown anywhere in our country. If that could or does happen, those employees would be taking bathroom breaks that lasted a long time, would be coming to to work very late, would be sneezing, coughing, needing a COVID test, and spending hours re-arranging their work space, tying their shoes. Not an employee I would want.

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If I remember correctly leaving was usually "you've got five minutes to clean out your locker and be escorted off the premises. After x years it's nothing personal, just business." But the employer wanted 2 weeks notice to leave, or poor reference.

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Lily O Lady's picture

the Kossack for Sanders subreddit. One commenter, probably not a lawyer, wondered if the restraining order could be considered restraint of trade since the potential receiving hospital was deprived of the workers services. They cited a page at findlaw.com which seems to indicate that it is.

Either way, as things are currently interpreted, the employer can throw such employees out on their ear without any notice, while the employee isn’t allowed to leave until a replacement is found. The power is with the employer rather than the employees.

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"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"