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Author Topic: BAIZUO (pazio) Going Union! The beginning of the end!?  (Read 10693 times)

Snowman0147

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Re: BAIZUO (pazio) Going Union! The beginning of the end!?
« Reply #105 on: October 23, 2021, 12:42:39 AM »
Guess the artist will have to find a new company.  That is the only bad thing about it.

Lynn

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Re: BAIZUO (pazio) Going Union! The beginning of the end!?
« Reply #106 on: October 23, 2021, 01:40:18 AM »
Washington State has no income tax so it would just be do they have a business license, do they make enough to file a return and what B&O tax they owe if any.  Doubtful the State is going to care.  Just like it's unlikely whatever city they live in is going to check in on them.  All that may change if work from home becomes a more permanent thing.

Not sure if there is a present one, but a new payroll tax goes into effect in January, 2022.
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Mistwell

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Re: BAIZUO (pazio) Going Union! The beginning of the end!?
« Reply #107 on: October 23, 2021, 01:19:39 PM »
Eric Tenkar over on Tenkar's Tavern posted also that some of those 'freelancers' working for Paizo that held back work include several full time employees that also do extra work for more money.

Kind of makes me wonder if they've been doing the right thing taxwise or maybe Washington state should be looking into it.

Uh, yeah. When your employee does "extra work" we call that overtime. And it's definitely supposed to include Medicare, Social Security, etc..

That makes for a nice soundbite but it might not be true.  I couldn't find a US answer but it appears courts in Germany allow multiple employment contracts with the same employer.
https://www.globalworkplaceinsider.com/2017/11/working-as-a-freelancer-and-as-an-employee-for-the-same-company/
I suspect the same thing is true in the US.  Both parties would have to treat Freelance work differently than FTE work.

The same thing is not true in the US. To be considered an independent contractor you must meet certain criteria. The law assumes you are by default an employee unless you can prove you meet the criteria. IF you are an employee already, then by definition you can not meet the independent contractor criteria since too many elements of that criteria would be automatically answered "no".

The reason we have these laws (which certainly differ in other nations) is primarily tax based. Employees are treated very differently than independent contractors. Employers must pay for workers compensation insurance for an employee but not for an independent contractor who are supposed to carry their own workers compensation insurance. Employees must contribute to the social security and medicare tax accounts of employees but not of independent contractors. There are a variety of other reporting and posting requirements for employees but not independent contractors. There are a huge number of labor regulations which kick in only when a company reaches a certain threshold of employees (like "Employers with 50 or more employees"). Minimum wage and hour laws apply to employees but not independent contractors who can be paid on a per-project basis. Etc.. For a large variety of reasons employers would prefer to count someone as an independent contractor rather than an employee.

The huge fight going on in California right now is over California mandating even Uber and Lyft drivers be counted as employees rather than independent contracts, and anyone who writes more than a few times a year for an internet source must be counted as an employee rather than an independent contractor.

So yeah, if someone is paying an employee as also an independent contractor on the side, it's very likely something shady is going on. It's very likely some workers compensation, medicare tax, and social security tax is being avoided. And it's very likely some wage and hour laws are being skirted for "projects" work. Probably if their state's Attorney General office (or labor office) took a hard look at that company, they'd be heavily fined and owe some back pay to that person for unpaid overtime (likely with a penalty).

Almost_Useless

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Re: BAIZUO (pazio) Going Union! The beginning of the end!?
« Reply #108 on: October 23, 2021, 01:41:27 PM »
Any bets on how long it will take to get our first union embezzlement story?

Zelen

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Re: BAIZUO (pazio) Going Union! The beginning of the end!?
« Reply #109 on: October 23, 2021, 04:22:03 PM »
Any bets on how long it will take to get our first union embezzlement story?

Prediction: Jessica Price caught taking 10x her salary in funds from Baizuo union. Price responds by emphasizing she was only withdrawing funds to account for herself and 9 other "alters" she claims cohabit within her body.

Jaeger

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Re: BAIZUO (pazio) Going Union! The beginning of the end!?
« Reply #110 on: October 23, 2021, 05:03:28 PM »
Eric Tenkar over on Tenkar's Tavern posted also that some of those 'freelancers' working for Paizo that held back work include several full time employees that also do extra work for more money.

Kind of makes me wonder if they've been doing the right thing taxwise or maybe Washington state should be looking into it.

Tenkar must be referring to this article:
https://www.wired.com/story/tabletop-rpg-workers-say-their-jobs-are-no-fantasy/

The low salaries at Paizo led a number of employees to take freelance jobs from the company, too, just to make ends meet. “One of the jokes about Paizo is that the real benefit is first pick of all the freelance contracts,” says Crystal Frasier, who made less than $40,000 when she left in 2018 after nine years at the company. “You couldn't really afford to work there if you weren't going home after work and writing 5,000 to 10,000 words a week freelance, just to make rent.” During his first year at the company, says Jason Tondro, a senior developer at Paizo, “if I didn’t get freelance gigs, I didn’t have a food budget.”

IMHO - Those employee's taking additional "freelance" jobs should have been getting overtime pay...

Was Baizuo was exploiting a work-law loophole, or were they being shady? IMHO it's a coin flip.

Either way, from other sources it seems that Baizuo's business model is built on its current practices.

Now having put themselves in a position to actually pay people to make Seattle rent...

I think it is a safe prediction that at a minimum we will see Baizuo begin to cut back on both its number of employee's, and its publishing schedule in the years to come.

Or its commie union kills it. Whichever comes first...
« Last Edit: October 23, 2021, 05:05:06 PM by Jaeger »
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SHARK

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Re: BAIZUO (pazio) Going Union! The beginning of the end!?
« Reply #111 on: October 23, 2021, 05:48:44 PM »
Greetings!

Yes, well, considering that $20 dollars/per hour equals $40K per year, I'm not sure what she was expecting. Certainly, after working there for 9 years, I would want more money too, but there are *LOTS* of companies and businesses that work on the basis of giving employees a 50-cent or a dollar an hour raise per year, and sometimes not even that. Discussions of minimum wage aside, where someone can literally shovel French Fries and not do much else and make $13 to $15 dollars per hour, she really does need to realize that many businesses, at least 50% of every business and industry in America--pays $20 dollars an hour or less. The median income of America is about 40K per year, so half of the population--regardless of company or industry--makes somewhere around $20 dollars or less an hour.

Skilled sales people, skilled tradesmen, experienced teachers--yeah, they make typically $25 to $40 dollars per hour. Jobs that absolutely require genuine skills, talent, an often particular training and education, in the case of degrees usually 5 years of formal education, and in the case of apprenticeships in various trades, also about 5 years of continuous training an skill development.

How much is some flunkie sitting at a computer doing layout and other minutia supposed to make? I can't say I'm surprised that Baizuo is paying most of their employees $20 dollars or less an hour. To remain profitable, that sounds about right. The cost of real estate, housing, rent, and mortgages in the greater Seattle area is irrelevant. None of that is Baizuo's business, or under their control. Their own company's expenses and profit margins are what is under their control, and is their responsibility. They are not required to make it so every fucking employee at their company can live a nice, sweet, cushy fucking lifestyle. That's the prevailing pay-scale for that kind of work. You don't like it? Go and do something else. You don't like the sky-fucking high costs of rent and mortgages in fucking Seattle? Pack your shit and fucking move somewhere else, geesus. The entitlement and absolute helplessness of these fucking people is insane.

In the HMO industry, most basic employees used to start at about $13 dollars per hour or so, with a college degree preferred, and even expected, but not always absolutely required. That was to do basic data-entry work in a computer cubicle, occasionally talking on the phone, and doing other "light administrative tasks" as a team member of the Claims Adjustment department. I know many, many corporations in business work on a similar scale, with a similar set of assumptions and work conditions. Oh, and the HMO companies I am quite familiar with, also had *FAR MORE* employees than fucking Baizuo. They had hundreds if not a thousand or more employees just at office campuses in Orange County, California. Companies such as Aetna, Pacific Care, and now United Health, in Cypress, California, for example. Big companies, that make hundreds of millions of dollars,--if not more--and provide absolutely essential services to the health care industry. California has never been an inexpensive place to live, and yet, the wage scale has been comparable and nationally competitive for the knowledge and skill base expected from such employees.

But cubicle monkees at Baizuo think that they deserve more money or comparable money to basic health-insurance workers, or even more, like professional sales, teachers, or tradesmen.

Semper Fidelis,

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« Last Edit: October 23, 2021, 05:50:35 PM by SHARK »
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DM_Curt

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Re: BAIZUO (pazio) Going Union! The beginning of the end!?
« Reply #112 on: October 23, 2021, 06:41:23 PM »
Is there a reason that Baizou, or Paizo or Pizza-Pie has to locate in Seattle, paying City of Seattle taxes and prices?  They're only a few dozen people in an office, with the majority of their staff able to telecommute, post-Covid.
They don't need rail access, port access or super-heavy industry. They could rent generic office space somewhere cheaper, a little further out from Seattle. Maybe as far south on I-5 as Vancouver, which would definitely be cheaper.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2021, 06:45:02 PM by DM_Curt »

HappyDaze

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Re: BAIZUO (pazio) Going Union! The beginning of the end!?
« Reply #113 on: October 23, 2021, 06:53:10 PM »
They could be hoping that their workers take advantage of the plethora of 0-cost housing options in the Seattle area.

DM_Curt

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Re: BAIZUO (pazio) Going Union! The beginning of the end!?
« Reply #114 on: October 23, 2021, 07:03:41 PM »
Vaccination rates must be pretty high. There's needles all over the place.

Jaeger

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Re: BAIZUO (pazio) Going Union! The beginning of the end!?
« Reply #115 on: October 23, 2021, 09:00:51 PM »
Is there a reason that Baizou, or Paizo or Pizza-Pie has to locate in Seattle, paying City of Seattle taxes and prices?  They're only a few dozen people in an office, with the majority of their staff able to telecommute, post-Covid.
They don't need rail access, port access or super-heavy industry. They could rent generic office space somewhere cheaper, a little further out from Seattle. Maybe as far south on I-5 as Vancouver, which would definitely be cheaper.


But then the Baizuo Ceo's wouldn't have that trendy Seattle address...



...
In the HMO industry, most basic employees used to start at about $13 dollars per hour or so, with a college degree preferred, and even expected,...the HMO companies I am quite familiar with, also had *FAR MORE* employees than fucking Baizuo. They had hundreds if not a thousand or more employees just at office campuses in Orange County, California. Companies such as Aetna, Pacific Care, and now United Health, in Cypress, California, for example. Big companies, that make hundreds of millions of dollars,--if not more--

In my experience companies pay as low as they do in the overwhelming majority of cases: Simply because they can.

A big problem with even small companies like Baizuo is this:

CEO pay has skyrocketed 1,322% since 1978:
https://www.epi.org/publication/ceo-pay-in-2020/

Which is compounded by this:

For most U.S. workers, real wages have barely budged in decades:
https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/08/07/for-most-us-workers-real-wages-have-barely-budged-for-decades/

Of course companies will come back with the line that: "The economics of the industry prevent us from...."

To which I retort: "Show me the books then."

Which is virtually without exception followed by: ~insert sound of crickets chirping here~

Because they are a pack of greedy fucking liars.

This state of affairs was brought about over time, and has a variety of causes: Our out of control legal and illegal immigration continually depressing wages in the labor market, the outrageous inflationary spending of the government, outsourcing, our stupid 'free trade' policies, leaving the bretton woods agreement, etc,.

Trump was trying to address some of those issues, but the solution requires an array of policy changes - no one magic button will fix this.

The effects of what I call the: "Harvard business school of the Mammon Economics Death Cult" has been devastating to the US working class.

The contemptable greed of modern Ceo's, and our ruling Elites is breathtaking*. They are wholly devoid of any sense of Noblesse Oblige, Honor, or basic Morality when interacting to those they consider beneath them. Which is basically everyone not them.


How this relates to Baizuo's situation:

RPGs have always been a niche interest at best. RPGs as a commercial interest are, and have always been, a small business enterprise at best. D&D is the outlier.
Small business enterprises can be solid and successful for decades, given sound management, and this remains true today.

Most RPG companies are not soundly managed. There is a laundry list of notable game companies that have come and gone...

Baizuo is not soundly managed; it is set up to run like a big dividend making pubic shareholder mammon corporation like WotC:

Pathfinder 2 has been out for little over two years, and over that time they've released a total of three bestiaries, a Gamemaster's Guide telling you how to fiddle with their game, and three major rule expansions ... featuring a total of 8 additional classes. And that's in addition to the lore stuff they've done for Golarion (8 more books of varying sizes), and a bazillion different accessories.

Baizuo has more full time employee's than WotC's D&D division, puts out four times the physical product of D&D per year, and does not even do close to D&D 5e sales levels.

This is a RPG business model that can only be sustained by the prolific use of wage-slaves. Baizuo is in thrall to the SJW's, is headquartered in an SJW stronghold, and thus is being subjected to a coup by the more fanatical SJW's in the company.

Once Baizuo stopped being the number one RPG company when 5e came out, their collapse was economically inevitable. The SJW commie union is just speeding things along.




* And before the predictable 'Because Capitalism!' post appears: I highly suggest you learn some actual economic history. Because Socialist countries took one look at the moral abuses that occur in supposed 'capitalist' countries, and said:
"Hold my Beer..."
« Last Edit: October 23, 2021, 09:10:14 PM by Jaeger »
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Aglondir

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Re: BAIZUO (pazio) Going Union! The beginning of the end!?
« Reply #116 on: October 23, 2021, 11:51:40 PM »
Is there a reason that Baizou, or Paizo or Pizza-Pie has to locate in Seattle, paying City of Seattle taxes and prices?  They're only a few dozen people in an office, with the majority of their staff able to telecommute, post-Covid.
They don't need rail access, port access or super-heavy industry. They could rent generic office space somewhere cheaper, a little further out from Seattle. Maybe as far south on I-5 as Vancouver, which would definitely be cheaper.

By this time next year paizo will be out of Seattle, with a minimal staff, most of the writers freelancers.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2021, 11:53:11 PM by Aglondir »

RandyB

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Re: BAIZUO (pazio) Going Union! The beginning of the end!?
« Reply #117 on: October 24, 2021, 09:36:08 AM »
Another observed behavior of unions. Unions seek to grow, by expanding their scope if necessary. This won't stop with Baizuo.

Bunch

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Re: BAIZUO (pazio) Going Union! The beginning of the end!?
« Reply #118 on: October 24, 2021, 10:00:07 AM »
Paizo isn't in Seattle. It's in Redmond. 

Zalman

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Re: BAIZUO (pazio) Going Union! The beginning of the end!?
« Reply #119 on: October 24, 2021, 10:20:21 AM »
Eric Tenkar over on Tenkar's Tavern posted also that some of those 'freelancers' working for Paizo that held back work include several full time employees that also do extra work for more money.

Kind of makes me wonder if they've been doing the right thing taxwise or maybe Washington state should be looking into it.

Washington State has no income tax so it would just be do they have a business license, do they make enough to file a return and what B&O tax they owe if any.  Doubtful the State is going to care.  Just like it's unlikely whatever city they live in is going to check in on them.  All that may change if work from home becomes a more permanent thing.

As far as requirements for the contractors/employees goes, that's all well and good. However, it's also Paizo possibly breaking both state and federal law here. WA might care about the missing L&I (their version of unemployment insurance), and the IRS certainly cares about social security and medicare getting paid -- and by whom.

Whether or not the IRS allows you to classify extra work done by a current employee as "contract" or not depends on the nature of the work and the work relationship. Which party takes investment risk? Which party directs the work on a day-to-day basis? Does the "contractor" sit in on regular company meetings and generally participate as an employee while engaged in the work? Etcetera, all evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

If the "contract" work appears to be nothing more than an extension of your standard employee duties, that's a no-no at the federal level in the U.S.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2021, 10:22:18 AM by Zalman »
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