RE: FSLA complaint regarding the use of evolunteersf by Landmark Education, a for-profit company
Dear Ms. Gather:
Landmark Education Corporation is privately held, for-profit corporation that sells new-age, eself-helpf courses. In investigating Landmark Education and speaking with labor attorneys, Action Works has found that Landmark Educationfs use of unpaid workers, that it calls evolunteersf, appears to be in violation of the Federal Labor Standards Act (FSLA). With headquarters in San Francisco, Landmark has offices in 24 states, including Colorado. A company bulletin board boasted 9,000 evolunteers last May.
The specifics that relate to the FSLA include:
Landmark Education is estimated to have sales of $30-$40 million based on information for previous years provided to Dunn and Bradstreet.
The duties performed by these unpaid workers or evolunteersf include office, clerical, telephone work, enrolling people into courses and assisting with courses for the benefit of Landmark Education.
eVolunteersf are required to sign agreements committing to amount of time to be worked, a copy of which is enclosed.
There is no compensation for enrolling others into courses but, according to a former participant in the organization, some evolunteersf are given paid positions on staff and/or the opportunity to lead courses based on the number of people they enroll. Documents obtained by Action Works include forms that track enrollment by evolunteersf.
That the use of the unpaid workers is intentional is evidenced by Landmarkfs brochure on evolunteeringf, a copy of which is enclosed.
eVolunteersf of Landmark Education do not fall under Executive, Administrative or Professional exemptions from the FLSA due to, among other things, being paid less than $155 per week. They are not paid. They also cannot be construed to be Apprentices, Trainees or Independent Contractors.
A local labor attorney has offered to represent a class action on contingency. But Landmark Education has sensitive and personal information on many, if not all, of the evolunteersf. Action Works believes this places any evolunteerf that would bring a class action suit at risk. We must therefore ask that, at a minimum, the Labor Department determine the legality of what we believe to be the unethical exploitation of unpaid workers by a for-profit company.
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U.S. Department of Labor investigation of Landmark Education in Denver, Colorado (1996)
Department of Labor of the United States investigation into Landmark Education's labor practices. 1994-1996. Denver, Colorado, U.S. Department of Labor, Landmark Education investigation file, 1995-631-00183. May 3, 1996.
United States Department of Labor U.S. Department of Labor investigation of Landmark Education in San Francisco, California (2004)¨
(!! 2004 - thats the year LEC was trolling the message board and launched its lawsuit against RI and the message board users.)Quote
Landmark Education LLC
DBA: Landmark Education
client will agree to pay when his client finishing review of Investigator [FOIA EX.7] back wages computation no later than 12/07/2004, and his client would have no problem signing the WH-56. Mr. Tollen further stated that either he or his client would contact Investigator [FOIA EX. 7] on or before 12/07/2004 for an official answer when to pay.
On December 7, 2004, Mr. Timothy Cahal contacted Investigator via telephone and stated that his firm agreed to pay 45 employees a total of $187,569.01 in overtime back wages by December 23, 2004. On the same day, an original signed copy of Form WH-56 was received at the San Francisco District Office.
There is no evidence for willful violation. The firm has no prior history of FLSA violation. The firm did not know the overtime pay method was incorrect. Therefore, no civil money penalty is computed.
Publication to ER: Part 778, 541, and FLSA poster
Complainant's name: [FOIA EXEMPTION 7.]
On December 8, 2004, the complainant was contacted via phone and she was advised that there is no back wages due to her. However, the firm did have overtime violation on those non exempt hourly employees, and the firm agreed to pay those who are subjected to overtime back wages.
Since Mr. Timothy Cahal ATCF with all the provisions of the FLSA and agreed to pay 45 employees a total of $187,569.01 in OT BWs, I recommend the case be closed administratively as soon as all the proof of payment is received. No FLSA civil money penalties is computed because there is no evidence of willful violation of Section 7 and the firm has no prior violation documented. Therefore, a civil money penalty is not warranted.
[FOIA EXEMPTION 7.] Investigator Date: December 8, 2004
20041202 Landmark Education
353 Sacramento Street, Suite 200 San Francisco, CA 94111
Page 5 of 5
More labor investigations of Landmark in Dallas,
[en.wikisource.org])A local labor attorney has offered to represent a class action on contingency. But Landmark Education has sensitive and personal information on many, if not all, of the evolunteersf. Action Works believes this places any evolunteerf that would bring a class action suit at risk. We must therefore ask that, at a minimum, the Labor Department determine the legality of what we believe to be the unethical exploitation of unpaid workers by a for-profit company.Quote
The employer could not conduct the seminars at the level it has been doing without the enormous amount of assistants (20-40) per seminar. The assistants perform primary functions of the employer such as finance conversations with potential attendees, purchasing, and facility management.
A heavy emphasis is put on volunteering at the initial Landmark Forum attended by newcomers. Attendees are influenced to assist (volunteer) at the classes and told they can gain more knowledge without paying any money to attend seminars that they volunteer at [Exemption 5 to Freedom of Information Act: Internal forms and memoranda]
By volunteering at these seminars and in the business office the assistants are convinced that they are acquiring skills and knowledge required to improve their social and mental skills that they can use in their full-time employment and personal lives. The assistants displace regular employees that would have to be hired. The employer could not operate with the 2-3 full-time employees per site.
Section 7: An overtime violation resulting from the firm not paying the additional half time to non-exempt salaried employees [Exemption 5 to Freedom of Information Act: Internal forms and memoranda]
The firm did agree to comply and pay backwages throughout the United
States via the MODOfs investigation [Exemption 5 to Freedom of Information Act: Internal forms and memoranda]
but did not include the non-exempt salaried employee in Dallas. The firm has agreed to pay the backwages to the Dallas employee, but will not comply with the overtime violation found for the assistants.
Section 11: A recordkeeping violation resulted from the firm not keeping a record of hours for non-exempt salaried employees, and for assistants that are actually employees