Will Work for Beer: Volunteering in the Brewing Industry Offers Advantages Along With Risks

Discussion in 'Article Comments' started by BeerAdvocate, Nov 3, 2017.

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  1. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (886) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
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    You know this is probably never going to happen, right? With all that "feeling like being part of something" stuff.
     
  2. Sabtos

    Sabtos Poo-Bah (8,079) Dec 15, 2015 Ohio
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    I mean you keep digging further and further into this realm where you think it's okay to not pay laborers, and you're just making your stance more and more complicated...but I'll bite.

    Where is it stated to be legal in the US that an employer can pay an employee as their sole form of compensation in non-monetary compensation only? Because that's what we're talking about in these instances.
     
  3. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Poo-Bah (2,124) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
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    Well we are not talking about a 40 hour a week full time position. Most cases are very short lived and the agreement is probably clear upon starting. Neither of us can fully argue this because we are not there. We don't know the hiring policy, the terms of the position, if the person was asked if they agree to no pay only food and beer, etc. I am pretty certain though that if this was 100% illegal you would see countless lawsuits and people walking away with cash and companies going under due to this. The fact is I dont see any cases of companies being sued over having a person work for 5 days canning beer and then getting a case for free, a hat, and some BBQ then is done working there. If there is please share the case, I just don't see it.
     
  4. JohnnyChicago

    JohnnyChicago Champion (808) Sep 3, 2010 Illinois

    FWIW, just because you agree to an unjust situation, doesn’t mean your protection ends. There definitly are courts that would hear this argument and rule against the defendant.
    There are usury laws in place protecting debters from high interest rates. BoA or Wells Fargo v. Miami confirmed that just because someone agreed to a predatory loan, it doesn’t void the bank’s responsibility. There is precedent here.
    This is a ‘bending the law’ situation at best and it will only take one terrible injury or big lawsuit to bring it down.
     
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  5. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Poo-Bah (2,124) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
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    I think there is a major argument over long term and short term. I feel the free position should be 1-2 days max and then its over. I think we would all agree long term no pay is not right, I am not for that. I guess what I am arguing is that if you want to work a couple days for free and score some cool beers and some goodies cool, that should be allowed. But yes, if you want to get free labor all year round and skate around the laws then I am not for that sort of thing never would be.
     
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  6. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Poo-Bah (2,124) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
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    I understand laws are in place to protect the worker, I guess my point on this is that if it was a clear violation of an individuals rights you would have already seen a court case on it and the industry would avoid doing it again like the plague. But you see this going on because I think there is no legal side to stop it. Again, this does not make it just for some people just arguing from a legal stand that being right is one thing, being illegal is another.
     
  7. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (886) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
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    What constitutes "long term"? I certainly appreciate that you're willing to debate this issue, and, in some instances, I agree with you, but the fact remains that the US government protects its citizens against businesses that are looking to take advantage of them. These cases, though seemingly innocuous, are prime examples of business owners taking advantage of people. It can be looked at no other way. It's like your buddy buying you pizza and beer after you help him move. Movers would have cost him a HELL of a lot more than that pie and sixer.

    The issue is that the labor laws that govern for-profit businesses were made for just this reason. To protect the person who is working. Whether they realize that they need protection or not.
     
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  8. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Poo-Bah (2,124) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
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    I am glad you guys like to debate, again this is in good fun FYI. I hope no one takes issue to it, I enjoy a good heated topic at times but I do it in good spirit, so with that said I hope everyone agrees.
    I see both sides on this one, I just think we should look at the entire picture. I do think we all agree long term stuff is wrong, no one supports that. I think a few days can be fun for people and give them a memory down the road, etc.
     
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  9. Sabtos

    Sabtos Poo-Bah (8,079) Dec 15, 2015 Ohio
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    If it is volunteering, there is no agreement, and it is not a hiring situation. If a brewery was stupid enough to write up a document and make someone sign that they are not going to get paid, then they are shooting themselves in the foot if a case surfaces, as they are essentially admitting to breaking the law on paper.

    Bottom line is they shouldn't be asking for free labor in the first place. You're always going to find people that are willing to work for free--or for food, or beer. This doesn't mean it's right, legal, or anything in between. It's not the fault of the volunteer that a for-profit business is asking them for their labor. It's not the fault of the volunteer that the business does not want to pay them. Just because a volunteer volunteers doesn't mean they deserve to be getting stiffed like that. They aren't just stiffing that one person, they're stiffing the community, the state, the country, the competition, and a whole array of issues you still refuse to consider.

    But that is exactly what these breweries are doing. Do you think they only want to package one or two beers in 2017, and that's that, forever? This is an ongoing situation, just because the volunteers may or may not be different during each canning or bottling run doesn't make it better. There is a lot of money flow being lost when you add all of these places up.
     
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  10. JohnnyChicago

    JohnnyChicago Champion (808) Sep 3, 2010 Illinois

    I wish that were the case, but in this industry, it doesn’t seem to be...
    Need proof? Look at distributer pay-to-play. That shit has been brought up and called out numerous times. I’m sure there’s been a lawsuit or two. Still happens.
     
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  11. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Poo-Bah (2,124) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
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    Long term to me is beyond a few days. I am for a fun time for a couple days to help at an event, maybe learn a skill for a day, and make some buddies down the road. But as a whole if you want to hire a person all summer without pay then we have a new issue. So for me my view is very limited time and a position not involved with others safety etc.
     
  12. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (886) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
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    You know what? I bet there are homebrewers who are making more than 100 gallons of beer per year. How many of them have seen prosecution? How about all the home distillers out there? A lot of them in court?

    It all comes down to how much money is in the prosecution of these violations. If there is money in it, make no mistake, someone will come knocking at the doors of these breweries.
     
  13. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Poo-Bah (2,124) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
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    Sadly that is true, most attorneys wont waste their time without a payday. That is why a lot of people don't like them LOL
    Then I guess the only answer is if everyone is so passionate about this would be to boycott business that does that, report it, and make it stop. Sadly though, this stuff has gone on for a long time and always will, that is human nature.
     
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  14. JohnnyChicago

    JohnnyChicago Champion (808) Sep 3, 2010 Illinois

    Yup.
    Just because your DA is busy with the heavier shit, doesn’t mean you aren’t the victim of injustice. This is the real world side of “well, if it’s illegal, then why hasn’t anyone been brought to court?”
     
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  15. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (886) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
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    I certainly do just this. Most (read: not all) business owners that use these practices are douche-y on other levels as well, so it's not that difficult to look elsewhere for the same or better products.

    Nobody's pissed me off this bad.

    Yet.
     
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  16. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,430) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
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    The stereotype of allowing a 70 year guy in the group is misleading because it implies they're doing the chap a favor. I know a good number of retirees who routinely volunteer their time to a variety of organizations around town and they don't do it because they would otherwise be sitting at home tired and lonely, rather because they have the time and wherewithal to pursue areas of interest.

    They are not employees though. The State and Federal Laws promulgated regarding labor relations are written to define the relationship between employers and employees. They are not applicable to volunteers nor are they intended to so apply.

    The problem arises when a small brewer makes such use of volunteers as to create de facto employees which I would caution against if any brewer asked for my advice. That's simply a bad idea because something will happen, something always does, often at the worst possible time, and the last thing a small brewer would want is a Court stepping in the middle of his business. Even giving the volunteers some beer would be a mistake because that is arguably something of value in exchange for labor.
     
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  17. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Poo-Bah (2,124) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
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    I totally agree, there is one thing you cannot learn from a book and that is experience. Companies benefit greatly from people who are retired because they have skills that most don't have today. I attend continuing education classes for my job and the gentlemen who teaches the class does so not for pay but because he loves to teach it and he has so much leaned knowledge you never get that from a book. I think that value cannot be measured in any pay, that is knowledge you should be thrilled to listen to, its priceless honestly.
     
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  18. Sabtos

    Sabtos Poo-Bah (8,079) Dec 15, 2015 Ohio
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    But this is exactly the issue I raised on page 1.

    Companies, and, frankly, an entire generation, are unwilling or disinterested in passing this knowledge down even though they received that benefit from their parents' generation. New generations are expected to just know things that past generations learned via well-paid apprenticeships and free, in school training programs.
     
  19. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (886) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
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    Very cool, but they could probably do the same things, but get compensated for it.

    There are statutes that apply to both, actually.

    That would all be good advice to heed.
     
  20. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Poo-Bah (2,124) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
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    Correct, things are not as they were. Companies today don't really care for their people like companies of old. I am not too old yet but have 25 years working behind me and things today are not what I remember. When I first began working I was surrounded with knowledge and people loved to share it with me, and I learned a ton. My first boss was old school, he knew everything about my industry. I would get to work at 5am and talk with him for hours before our day began, we would talk shop, life, etc. For 7 years we had those talks and he gave me a life worth of knowledge. Today you won't see that, it exists but it's not like it was. I feel sorry for my kids and kids today, its a hard road. You have to work twice as hard to get the same things. Four years of college was the gold standard, now a masters is not even worth crap to most.
     
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  21. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (886) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
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    Though quite tangential, college is a racket and a BIG racket at that.
     
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  22. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Poo-Bah (2,124) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
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    I totally agree, kids today pay mountains of cash for a degree, they graduate and get an offer for 10 bucks an hour. I cannot tell you how often I argue with my friends over this fact. Teachers at colleges are so overpaid that college is beyond affordable. And a lot of teachers don't care, they pass kids just to pass them and then when they enter the world of work they have no clue what to do.
    I would tell any kid today, go into a trade or the medical field. Trade skills are coming back big time and will be the future again. And medical jobs will never leave so long as people exist.
     
  23. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (886) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
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    Capitalism at its very finest. When the only thing that matters is the bottom line, you end up getting a subscription to the Jelly of the Month Club. That sad, but that's the modern workplace for you.
     
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  24. Sabtos

    Sabtos Poo-Bah (8,079) Dec 15, 2015 Ohio
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    I often wish I would have done this. At least my other half had the good sense to get into medical.
     
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  25. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (886) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
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    Yep.

    Go into the trades or become a nurse. 100% recession-proof
     
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  26. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Poo-Bah (2,124) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
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    Yep, so long as we have people you need doctors, nurse, etc. Also, if you learn a trade you have that skill for life, today most people cannot change a lightbulb lol. Sadly a lot of kids get a general business degree or marketing degree and its worthless, they will be fighting the 1,000 other guys in the interview line for the 20 buck an hour position that is not going to pay their bills.
     
  27. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Poo-Bah (2,124) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
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    Today is a whole new world, we are going back to old jobs again and college is not as big a deal, weird to watch but its our economy.
     
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  28. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Poo-Bah (2,124) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
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    Everyday I beat into my kids heads this very idea. They are not that old yet but I harp on them daily to get into a medical job or something that is going to be around for 100 years.
     
  29. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,430) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
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    Nah, the first rule of retirement is avoiding work.
     
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  30. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (886) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
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    That makes perfect sense, now that you put it that way.
     
  31. meefmoff

    meefmoff Devotee (473) Jul 6, 2014 Massachusetts
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    Just want to chime in to say that this is decidedly not why college tuition is expensive. Many classes are taught by graduate students for a tuition waiver and a small stipend. Others are taught by part time adjunct professors, who might make 5K (often less) with no benefits for teaching a course. Unless you're at a particularly prestigious school or are bringing in a good deal of grant money, the average full time professor is making about $50 - $75K after having gone to school until they were 30.

    Administration costs are typically well above those of faculty costs, and those people don't teach a single student. High tuition is a big problem with multiple causes, as is the fact that there are indeed numerous ways that college is a bit of a racket these days, but by and large faculty are not the problem in that equation.

    Sorry for the off topic but I didn't want to let that comment go unchallenged. No offense to you personally AZBeerdude as it's a common misperception.
     
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  32. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (886) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
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    Lending institutions are the biggest culprit, but, like you said, inflated administrative costs do not help things.
     
  33. Ridgewalker_1999

    Ridgewalker_1999 Initiate (43) Nov 3, 2016 Tennessee
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    I don’t think I will ever understand people’s need to judge other people’s business. If my neighbor wants to volunteer his time to a friend or a beer company, it’s his choice, so why should I or anyone else judge him? Personally, I have given thousands of hours of volunteer work for a non profit organization. I have noticed volunteers are better workers than minimum wage workers simple because they care about the organization they are working for, where as lot of minimum wage workers have poor work ethics, I can’t tell you how many times I seen minimum wage workers steal from their company. Seems like all the care about is themselves and collecting a paycheck.
     
  34. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Poo-Bah (1,826) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan
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    I’m retired. When people ask why I’m not working in retirement, i say “you work because you want to, or you have to”. I don’t have to,, and I don’t want to.
     
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  35. Sabtos

    Sabtos Poo-Bah (8,079) Dec 15, 2015 Ohio
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    There is a key distinction there.
     
  36. mikeinportc

    mikeinportc Meyvn (1,018) Nov 4, 2015 New York

    That was Mark Twain's idea. ; ) 'Course he also said to squeeze 'em for all you can, when you become indispensable. :wink:
     
  37. Ridgewalker_1999

    Ridgewalker_1999 Initiate (43) Nov 3, 2016 Tennessee
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    Whether a person volunteers for profit organization or non profit they are free to do what they want, and should be free from people opinions so long as they are not committing a crime or something.

    Really? Who hasn’t volunteered a few hours of work for your employers? Here in the states it’s very common for employees to take their work home with them. Even take business calls answer emails all sort of things on their personal time without being paid for that time, How is that any different?
     
  38. readyski

    readyski Aspirant (276) Jun 4, 2005 California
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    Or a mortician or tax accountant (death and taxes :wink:)
     
  39. Urk1127

    Urk1127 Meyvn (1,388) Jul 2, 2014 New Jersey

    I did it because after being rejected from several breweries for whatever reason, i was desperate to get into a career in beer. Im more than qualified on paper amd physically to do this type of work and have the hardest time getting a foot in the door.
     
  40. Sabtos

    Sabtos Poo-Bah (8,079) Dec 15, 2015 Ohio
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    I mean, we've already been through this. You're coming across like you haven't read the past two pages of post. It's illegal.
     
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