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More v Network Omni, Inc. August 5, 2008

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Business practices.
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I received a reminder postcard in today’s mail about More v Network Omni, Inc., the class action suit against Network Omni for failure to pay wages to its interpreters. I had heard rumblings of the suit and had received a notice packet last year, but I didn’t do anything about it because Network Omni didn’t owe me any money. I had worked for Network Omni in the past, but not as an interpreter. I also stopped working with them as soon as I heard the rumblings.

I was contacted by one of my agencies yesterday about a translation job. I informed them since they owed me $1400 in overdue invoices I would not be working with them until they paid them. And frankly, depending on how quickly they pay up and provided they pay all the outstanding invoices, I will probably stop working with them altogether unless business is REALLY slow (which never seems to be the case). That has been my method of choice in dealing with slow-paying agencies. That and finding agencies that have a good reputation and pay within 30 days. There are plenty of good agencies out there that have good payment terms and don’t wait 60 or 90 days to pay you. There is no reason to keep working with a bad apple.

I did a Google search just now and discovered an anonymous Rip Off Report about the case itself and a first-person Rip Off Report from one of the affected interpreters. There is also a discussion about this and accusations of sex discrimination and racial insensitivity here. Frankly, if the company owed me money I wouldn’t be posting anonymous posts on some web site. I would be hiring a lawyer and writing letters to the ATA Chronicle. How did Network Omni let things get so out of control? I remember a posting on the message boards at last year’s ATA conference, but I am frankly surprised that this has actually turned into a class action suit.

The only bright side to this is that if Network Omni loses the case other slow-paying agencies might be inclined to reconsider their business practices.

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