Respecting a country's minimum wage law ...
Thread poster: Patricia Rosas

Patricia Rosas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:55
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jun 25, 2007

Hi, ProZers:

I've just gone through the experience that so many others have had. I applied for an editing job that was posted here and found out that the pay rate is $4 per hour. I won't bore you by recounting my reaction to that but I do have a legal question:

The company is in Europe, and I am in the United States. The minimum wage in my state is $6.75 hour, and I assume that European countries also have a minimum wage law. (I'd love to name the country, but I don't want to violate some ProZ rule.)

Does anyone know if an outsourcer can simply ignore the minimum wage laws? If so, why?

Thanks,
Patricia


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:55
English to German
+ ...
Wages vs. self-employment Jun 25, 2007

Hi Patricia,
The concept of a wage applies to employment; as a freelancer, you are an independent entrepreneur setting your prices.
Therefore, I don't see how minimum wage regulations would apply to self-employed professionals.

(Needless to say, your pricing should translate into an hourly rate that is significantly higher than any minimum wage level - an hourly rate of USD 4.00 doesn't even warrant a response.)



The company is in Europe, and I am in the United States. The minimum wage in my state is $6.75 hour, and I assume that European countries also have a minimum wage law. (I'd love to name the country, but I don't want to violate some ProZ rule.)

Some European countries (UK, France) have minimum wage regulations, others do not.

Does anyone know if an outsourcer can simply ignore the minimum wage laws?

Nope, but AFAIK these laws apply to employees.

Best regards,
Ralf


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Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 13:55
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
I don't think your point is valid Jun 25, 2007

Please note: In writing the following, I'm not advocating the offering of low wages or accepting them!

In addition to Ralf's point concerning employment vs contracting, I don't see how you can make a point that a resident of another country has to respect your country's minimum wage laws. But of course, it's your right to refuse any such encroachment on your civil and economic liberties

FYI, here's some info on hourly wages and monthly salaries in the EU: http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/eiro/2005/07/study/tn0507101s.html

[Edited at 2007-06-25 15:04]


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Patricia Rosas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:55
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thanks ... Jun 25, 2007

Mikhail Kropotov wrote:

I don't see how you can make a point that a resident of another country has to respect your country's minimum wage laws. But of course, it's your right to refuse any such encroachment on your civil and economic liberties

FYI, here's some info on hourly wages and monthly salaries in the EU: http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/eiro/2005/07/study/tn0507101s.html

[Edited at 2007-06-25 15:04]


Mikhail,
Just to clarify: I was wondering if the outsourcer didn't have to respect the rules in the outsourcer's own country, but given Ralf's response, it's a mute point since as contractors we aren't covered.

I tried the link you posted and it didn't work. Could you post it again (or maybe a tinyurl version)?

Thanks to both you and Ralf for responding ...


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Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 13:55
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
Oops Jun 25, 2007

Hi Patricia,

An extra white space crawled inside the link Sorry. Try this:

http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/eiro/2005/07/study/tn0507101s.html

Best regards,
Mikhail


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Patricia Rosas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:55
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
very interesting! Jun 25, 2007

Mikhail,
That's a very interesting site! Thanks for sharing...
P.


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:55
German to English
+ ...
Respecting a country's minimum wage law ... Jun 25, 2007

Patricia Rosas wrote:

The company is in Europe, and I am in the United States. The minimum wage in my state is $6.75 hour (...)


But aren't you self-employed? If so, you are the one who is paying yourself less than the minimum wage.

Are you going to turn yourself in, or do we have to call the cops?

Marc


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Patricia Rosas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:55
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
ha, ha! Jun 25, 2007

Call off the cops! I didn't accept the job. Did I even need to say that?!

What was left after taxes probably wouldn't even have paid for the electricity I would have used to run the computer and the airconditioning so that the PC and I both don't fry (it's "only" 104 here today)!


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:55
French to English
the UK rule Jun 25, 2007

Patricia Rosas wrote:

Does anyone know if an outsourcer can simply ignore the minimum wage laws? If so, why?


I was quite interested to find out whether it was legal to advertise a job in the UK under the national minumum wage, so I phoned the relevant helpline here.

Answer, in a nutshell, is yes. It's perfectly legal to advertise jobs where the intention is that a genuinely self-employed person will do the job in question at whatever rate you like, as the self-employed have complete freedom to accept or decline.


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:55
German to English
+ ...
Respecting a country's minimum wage law ... Jun 25, 2007

Patricia Rosas wrote:

Call off the cops! I didn't accept the job. Did I even need to say that?!


You were discussing doing so. We'll get you for conspiracy.

What was left after taxes probably wouldn't even have paid for the electricity I would have used to run the computer and the airconditioning so that the PC and I both don't fry (it's "only" 104 here today)!


Forcing your employee to work under inhumane conditions as well, eh? Sounds like you're in trouble.

Marc


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