Gawker Media, the blogging service, oh excuse me technology company that just makes a website and definitely does not employ bloggers, is currently fighting it out in court. And making sure its employees don’t legally count as employees. In its latest ignoring of commenters the company argues 160,000 Kinja Users shouldn’t be able to sue as a class because they are unable to comment using a mobile platform.
All that the users have in common is that they’ve used Gawker’s app (Kinja) at some point in the past six years. And they’re right! Other than internet arguing for a living, being unpaid and uninsured, and making a profit for Gawker Media (Not Blogs You Guys) Inc., that’s the only thing remotely similar about them.
“The reality is that commenters use Kinja on their own terms: they control their use of the app,” the company said in a statement.
Gawker Media goes on to argue that classifying commenters as employees “could force Gawker to restructure its entire business model” by doing things like being liable for their plagarism, reimbursing them for laptop and phone repairs, and paying out for healthcare and worker’s comp. What a disaster.
And, at the same time, commenters would lose the “flexibility” of blogging for multiple blog services—none of which are responsible for them if something goes wrong—just so they can make ends meet, and not taking the breaks they’d be entitled to if they had an employer. Gawker is looking out for them to make sure that nightmare scenario doesn’t happen.
One Kinja Commenter in California is an employee, thanks to a ruling last month from me, but that decision doesn’t apply broadly to Gawker’s entire workforce—sorry, site users who write blogs. A class action proceeding would determine the status of any commenter who wanted to join the suit.
An August hearing will not determine whether all 160,000 Kinja users can sue as a class.
(lead image from Attack of the Show...apparently)
H/T- Jay Hathaway