This is a site for discussing roleplaying games. Have fun doing so, but there is one major rule: do not discuss political issues that aren't directly and uniquely related to the subject of the thread and about gaming. While this site is dedicated to free speech, the following will not be tolerated: devolving a thread into unrelated political discussion, sockpuppeting (using multiple and/or bogus accounts), disrupting topics without contributing to them, and posting images that could get someone fired in the workplace (an external link is OK, but clearly mark it as Not Safe For Work, or NSFW). If you receive a warning, please take it seriously and either move on to another topic or steer the discussion back to its original RPG-related theme.
NOTICE: Some online security services are reporting that information for a limited number of users from this site is for sale on the "dark web." As of right now, there is no direct evidence of this, but change your password just to be safe.

Author Topic: BAIZUO (pazio) Going Union! The beginning of the end!?  (Read 11061 times)

Lynn

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1935
Re: BAIZUO (pazio) Going Union! The beginning of the end!?
« Reply #120 on: October 24, 2021, 02:03:42 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.

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.

I haven't made WA state employment law a point of study, however I suspect that is exactly the problem, and that Paizo would find itself in hot water.

Tech companies in Washington have been investigated previously on who can be counted as a contractor. Years ago, Microsoft used to hire 'contractors' on effectively ongoing contracts in which they were given certain enough managerial input. As a result, Microsoft ended up hiring a bunch of contractors full time and on the other end, taking away the managerial input and requiring 'time out' periods in which contractors couldn't work for Microsoft.
Lynn Fredricks
Entrepreneurial Hat Collector

DM_Curt

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • D
  • Posts: 237
Re: BAIZUO (pazio) Going Union! The beginning of the end!?
« Reply #121 on: October 24, 2021, 02:47:08 PM »
Paizo isn't in Seattle. It's in Redmond.
Thanks for the clarification. Unfortunately, that's even worse.

Redmond,Wa. Median apartment rent: $2326
Seattle, WA. $2169
Vancouver, WA. $1543 (Also on I-5, with more than enough infrastructure for their needs)
Source: Rentcafe.com
I didn't check Tacoma or Olympia, but my point for this tangent is that "My cost of living!" Is sort of a self-inflicted wound. Apartment rent and commercial office rent probably follow similar patterns if cost by location. So, Paizo is paying more than they had to (1), and sort-of-forcing (2) employees  to also do so.
This is probably all moot anyway. Paizo has bigger problems now, and is probably not long for this world, unless WotC craps the bed in 2024 with the 5.5e.




(1) Although, if anything, commercial office rent should be going down in Washington overall, as companies see how well telecomming works and can downsize their physical locations.
(2) I chose a 30 minute commute over living in an expensive city whose QoL was rapidly deteriorating. It's an option.

Bunch

  • Black Savant
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 174
Re: BAIZUO (pazio) Going Union! The beginning of the end!?
« Reply #122 on: October 24, 2021, 05:46:30 PM »
Redmond seems an odd choice.  Competing with Microsoft employees for housing, goods and services is not a great idea for a non tech company. 

Vancouver though is a bit of comparing an apple to an orange.  Too far away and the nearest big city is Portland so you're not trading up in pretty much any corporate aspect. 

There is value to being in the Seattle-Bellevue area as there is a large pool of talent.  How necessary that is can be debated but Paizo has decided they want folks to come back into the office so any challenges that brings are self inflicted. 

I'm sort of surprised they still maintain their own store instead of outsourcing to OBS. 

Union or no union wages and benefits were going to go up so I don't see this as a huge additional issue for paizo unless the union is absolutely crazy optimistic/restrictive to business practices.  Most of what I see them asking for is less arbitrary firing and more money.  I think those were going to happen just due to the overall economic situation so the union is sort of a no op. 

Zalman

  • RPG Evangelist
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 789
Re: BAIZUO (pazio) Going Union! The beginning of the end!?
« Reply #123 on: October 24, 2021, 06:19:04 PM »
There is value to being in the Seattle-Bellevue area as there is a large pool of talent.

Which is an odd value for Paizo to champion, given that apparently most of their actual talent is freelance.
Old School? Back in my day we just called it "School."

Lynn

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1935
Re: BAIZUO (pazio) Going Union! The beginning of the end!?
« Reply #124 on: October 24, 2021, 06:41:38 PM »
Paizo isn't in Seattle. It's in Redmond.
Thanks for the clarification. Unfortunately, that's even worse.

Redmond,Wa. Median apartment rent: $2326
Seattle, WA. $2169
Vancouver, WA. $1543 (Also on I-5, with more than enough infrastructure for their needs)
Source: Rentcafe.com
I didn't check Tacoma or Olympia, but my point for this tangent is that "My cost of living!" Is sort of a self-inflicted wound. Apartment rent and commercial office rent probably follow similar patterns if cost by location. So, Paizo is paying more than they had to (1), and sort-of-forcing (2) employees  to also do so.
This is probably all moot anyway. Paizo has bigger problems now, and is probably not long for this world, unless WotC craps the bed in 2024 with the 5.5e.
(1) Although, if anything, commercial office rent should be going down in Washington overall, as companies see how well telecomming works and can downsize their physical locations.
(2) I chose a 30 minute commute over living in an expensive city whose QoL was rapidly deteriorating. It's an option.

I see no benefit for them to stay in the Seattle area. The Vancouver area would allow them the the benefit of being across the river from Portland (and the Portland airport is close by), but also draw from many miles around the Vancouver area in Washington for cheaper rent for employees.
Lynn Fredricks
Entrepreneurial Hat Collector

Zelen

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 554
Re: BAIZUO (pazio) Going Union! The beginning of the end!?
« Reply #125 on: October 24, 2021, 06:50:10 PM »
I see no real reason why Paizo shouldn't be a fully virtual company. Thought this for a long time. Trying to run a traditional company model makes no sense when you can easily share & collaborate online. I believe the only reason this model has clung on for so long is precisely because the TTRPG industry is so insular and clique-oriented. That's not going to work out for much longer.

Jaeger

  • That someone better.
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1161
Re: BAIZUO (pazio) Going Union! The beginning of the end!?
« Reply #126 on: October 24, 2021, 07:14:23 PM »
...

I see no benefit for them to stay in the Seattle area.

There is no reason for any RPG company to be in any expensive to live state in the US.

RPG's can literally be done anywhere. Not going where the cost is cheaper is silly. - But people like fashionable and trendy addresses.


I see no real reason why Paizo shouldn't be a fully virtual company. ...

As someone who works from home but used to do the same job in an office, there are communication and proximity advantages to having people at an office.

But Baizuo's office space should be much smaller, with far fewer employees than it has. Pundit was right. PF2 has not grabbed enough players back from 5e, and it has split its own fanbase on top of it.

Baizuo cannot continue to function like they are WotC's equals. Something will give.

Recognizing their commie union is only the first step on a longer downward journey.
"The envious are not satisfied with equality; they secretly yearn for superiority and revenge."

Bunch

  • Black Savant
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 174
Re: BAIZUO (pazio) Going Union! The beginning of the end!?
« Reply #127 on: October 24, 2021, 07:38:21 PM »
I agree they should be a virtual company at this point.  However they don't so if they decide to be in person then they have to be where the talent is and for the 30 odd people they want that doesn't surprise me it's in the greater Seattle area.  Lots of RPG professionals in that area.  But it could be relatively close to Seattle and still find cheaper everything.  Renton/Tukwilla is close enough, close the warehouses, airport and much more affordable. 

Hakdov

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 100
    • Iron Spikes
Re: BAIZUO (pazio) Going Union! The beginning of the end!?
« Reply #128 on: October 24, 2021, 08:19:51 PM »
There is no reason for any RPG company to be in any expensive to live state in the US.

There's no reason for any of the software companies to be in expensive cities either.  I've been doing my government programming job from home for 19 months now. 

Bunch

  • Black Savant
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 174
Re: BAIZUO (pazio) Going Union! The beginning of the end!?
« Reply #129 on: October 24, 2021, 08:48:31 PM »
The truth is for a very long time they were and maybe still are very bad at managing across different floors let alone across campus or state lines.   Far to much is decided in hallway meetings and lunch. 

Svenhelgrim

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 300
Re: BAIZUO (pazio) Going Union! The beginning of the end!?
« Reply #130 on: October 24, 2021, 11:38:16 PM »
If they work from home, they will have to clean their own carpets. 

SHARK

  • The Great Shark Hope
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3968
Re: BAIZUO (pazio) Going Union! The beginning of the end!?
« Reply #131 on: October 25, 2021, 12:55:40 AM »
Greetings!

I'm always boggled by how companies like Baizuo somehow even manage to tolerate all of these wacked out, mentally-ill social misfits that have huge senses of entitlement and are trainwrecks full of attitude problems.

I have worked for and have been familiar with so many companies that, yeah, you don't get with the program, cop some kind of fucking attitude with fellow employees or your supervisors or managers, and you are fucking *gone*. In a blink, that fast. You collect you final check in a few days, and welcome to being fucking unemployed.

There's no lawyers to save you, no legal BS, no options for you. You are FIRED because you have a fucking attitude problem, can't get along well with fellow employees, or have an uncooperative, argumentative, or insubordinate attitude towards management.

I don't know how these fucking slugs manage to stay employed. I can think of many companies where they wouldn't make it past collecting one paycheck.

Semper Fidelis,

SHARK
"It is the Marine Corps that will strip away the fa├žade so easily confused with self. It is the Corps that will offer the pain needed to buy the truth. And at last, each will own the privilege of looking inside himself  to discover what truly resides there. Comfort is an illusion. A false security b

Bunch

  • Black Savant
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 174
Re: BAIZUO (pazio) Going Union! The beginning of the end!?
« Reply #132 on: October 25, 2021, 02:04:12 AM »
I don't get the sense the issue was with fellow employees though. It seemed the rift was more with management.  When there's an excess of labor then the situation and scenarios Shark describes are the likely outcome.  As labor becomes the more scarce resource then management needs to adjust to the situation.  Either need less employees and screen to find the most compliant which may not meet the talent needs or be more active in listening and acting on the employee requests. 

This was already happening in Tech. Most of us have hear of the on campus chefs, laundry, personal assistants available at a top tech company like Google, Apple, etc.  They were competing for a limit few workers that they felt they absolutely had to have and extra costs would be earned back.   That's where we are getting with the lower end of the labor market.  It's going to mean some inflation and potentially killing some low margin businesses that don't adapt to needing less labor.  But those that survive are likely to see a rise in the number of people purchasing their products.   The one thing I'm not sure is will we see a rise in productivity to accompany the rise in wages.   

Zalman

  • RPG Evangelist
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 789
Re: BAIZUO (pazio) Going Union! The beginning of the end!?
« Reply #133 on: October 25, 2021, 10:55:19 AM »
I don't get the sense the issue was with fellow employees though. It seemed the rift was more with management.

In a truly functional company, managers are viewed as "fellow employees". Either way, there's not much difference to upper management, to whom everyone but the C-suite folks is an "employee".

Quote from: Bunch

This was already happening in Tech. Most of us have hear of the on campus chefs, laundry, personal assistants available at a top tech company like Google, Apple, etc.  They were competing for a limit few workers that they felt they absolutely had to have and extra costs would be earned back.

Interesting take. Most tech folks I know (having been in the business a few decades now) see it differently: those amenities are not designed to attract employees but rather to keep them on campus, by ensuring every life-need is covered. Employees that stay on site work more.
Old School? Back in my day we just called it "School."

Lynn

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1935
Re: BAIZUO (pazio) Going Union! The beginning of the end!?
« Reply #134 on: October 25, 2021, 11:44:45 AM »
Interesting take. Most tech folks I know (having been in the business a few decades now) see it differently: those amenities are not designed to attract employees but rather to keep them on campus, by ensuring every life-need is covered. Employees that stay on site work more.
That's right. Besides, if you are the sort to get hired at the most highly desired employers, they rarely are going to offer something that is truly unique.

In some cases, the same amenities are used to conduct business. When I worked for Qualcomm in the later 90s, there was a complete bar. If you wanted to have a drink with a client and it wasn't entirely after work hours, you could take that client down to the bar.
Lynn Fredricks
Entrepreneurial Hat Collector