This is about what dickheads the people who run Amazon are. They have what are called fulfillment centers, which are giant warehouses full of shelves with bins with stuff in them and hundreds of people working their asses off, we know, because Skynet is tracking their movements to the nanosecond. At the end of the day they go through security to make sure they are not stealing. Here is Mark Thierman, attorney for the workers:
It can take almost half an hour, and Amazon refuses to pay them. And the reason it takes so long is that Amazonian rulers are such chislers they have just the one kiosk, rather than the three or so it would take to come up to the level of humanity Homeland Security has to offer.
The employees at one warehouse, no union of course, just individuals, sue. It winds its way through the courts, and Amazon appeals to the Supremes. The case summary and the full oral argument on Oyez.
Amazon goes out and hires a guy named Paul Clement, who has argued more cases before the Court than any practicing lawyer. He is a legend. Brilliant in oral argument. Honest guy. Generally represents corporations and conservatives. Clerked for Scalia. He is the ultimate Big Ticket Lawyer.
THIS is who Amazon hires, they are so intent on chiseling their employees. Lets just say Mr. Thierman has no Wikipedia page and leave it there.
And the law in this area is just so weird. Here is Clement
They go on like this for an hour, just arcane arbitrary rules that are, I guess the product of corporations just hacking away wherever they can, nickle and diming people. As far as I can tell, its kind of a tossup which side has the better legal argument, which says more about the state of the law than the arguments, I think. The proposition that Amazon should lose just because their shit is fucked up and bullshit, well, thats not how its done. Mr. Thierman seems at first not to be having a good day, but he rallies in the last part of his argument, kind of great to listen to. I suspect this will be a Kennedy Court decision.
There was a nice lawerly exchange between Clement and his old boss, Justice Scalia
When I’m editing these tapes I often speed up the tape, it sounds really cool. Here are Clement, Sotomoyor (I think), and Scalia.
Postscript. Amazon won in a unanimous decision. Oyez.