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A small-time vintner's use of volunteer workers has put him out of business after the state squeezed him like a late-summer grape for $115,000 in fines -- and sent a chill through the wine industry.
The volunteers, some of them learning to make wine while helping out, were illegally unpaid laborers, and Westover Winery should have been paying them and paying worker taxes, the state Department of Industrial Relations said.
"I didn't know it was illegal to use volunteers at a winery; it's a common practice," said winery owner Bill Smyth....
State law prohibits for-profit businesses from using volunteers. Read more at www.activistpost.com...
Meanwhile, he and his wife, Jill, are holding a going-out-of-business sale and plan to shut down before the end of the year. The fines represent more than a decade's worth of profits for the winery, which nets about $11,000 a year, Smyth said.
"There's just no money left; they've taken everything," he said.
"We're a small winery, open only 10 hours a week. We didn't really need any helpers; we were just educating people about wine," he said.
Read more at www.activistpost.com...
you must now get permission from the state if you help your buddy out at his shop or farm, and that your buddy must now pay taxes on this activity? That you indeed do NOT own yourself or your energy if you can't choose how to spend your "free" time?
In 2012, the U.S. Department of Labor tried to ram through "child labor" regulations that prohibited parents from assigning farm chores to their children. This power grab of parental rights was attempted without a formal law. Fortunately, the proposal angered rural communities so much that it was scrapped , for now....
Was the government's plan to fine moms-n-pops out of the parental business, too? Sounds outrageous, I know. Laws like these force you to transfer the legal custody of your children to the wise and benevolent state. Crazy? Unbelievable? You just read how you've already lost custody over yourself and your own free time, so why would this be so hard to believe?
originally posted by: drz400
You people new to fix this. Come on.. You're really gonna let the government walk all over you like this? If you want any freedom ever again, rebel now, or you'll become as obedient as the Nazis were in Germany during the 2nd world war... And follow your leaders right into failure...
originally posted by: JimNasium
a reply to: jude11
So they fined the couple 10 years of earnings? What greedy tools, the whole lot. I'm almost at the thought that is part of a plan to drive folks that want to work for themselves out of the State and replace them with drones that are in debt up to their a$$ to "the company store" and then when the original debtor dies or commits suicide, those debts are then passed on like genes, to the next 'earner' who isn't earning anything in reality..
The system is out of whack, especially in that State.
I'll be 'Gene" to Your 'Roger' or versa-visa and also give it a:
originally posted by: occrest
If I wish to barter my time to a master tradesman for the knowledge i would glean from working with him/her that is my business and not the states. I am not "volunteering' anything. I am trading my time and labor for knowledge.
Volunteer for the 'public' (read state) sector? They want to benefit from free labor, to hell with the little guy. Sounds of jealousy to me.
originally posted by: xDeadcowx
Wow, thats insane... That means if i wanted to give my friend a hand over the weekend, helping him to smoke some meat for his BBQ stand, he could lose his business.
I can't help but wonder, how do corporations get away with having interns? They are largely unpaid and there to get experience, just like the up and coming grape farmers were in the OP.
Is there some kind of paperwork you gotta file to have interns and if so, are they available to smaller businesses like in the OP?
I agree that this situation is very over the top, but if there is a way that the owner could have prevented it then the owner is at fault for not jumping through whatever hoops he needed to. Now if there is no way to use unpaid volunteers, aka interns, then something needs to change immediately.
originally posted by: beezzer
a reply to: jude11
Government can't tax kindness, volunteering, helping another person.
So they have to make it illegal.