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Microsoft Helps Keep Lawyers Employed

windows_vista_092507.jpgVia the Tax Prof, there’s a wacky but legitimate employment law issue arising over computer boot-up times:

Lawyers are noting a new type of lawsuit, in which employees are suing over time spent booting [up] their computers. … During the past year, several companies, including AT&T Inc., UnitedHealth Group Inc. and Cigna Corp., have been hit with lawsuits in which employees claimed that they were not paid for the 15- to 30-minute task of booting their computers at the start of each day and logging out at the end. Add those minutes up over a week, and hourly employees are losing some serious pay, argues plaintiffs’ lawyer Mark Thierman, a Las Vegas solo practitioner who has filed a handful of computer-booting lawsuits in recent years. …

This is for real, too. And Windows Vista is not helping matters. For example, for some stupid reason, because of Vista, my Internet connection goes down twice a day, without fail. And the only way to get it back is to reboot my computer. That’s an extra 10 minutes, at least, plus the initial boot-up and log off at the end of each day. If I were an employee, I’m sorry, but I’d actually like to be paid for that time.

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Also, slow logoffs make it harder to avoid Lumbergh on a Friday afternoon.