May 27, 2017

AOL, Arianna Huffington to be sued by unpaid bloggers

By Sean O’Connell We know that Arianna Huffington’s practice of not paying Huffington Post bloggers for their work is morally reprehensible, but is it illegal?

We’re about to find out, as HuffPo bloggers have agreed to file a class-action suit against Huffington and AOL, according to Forbes.

Union organizer and journalist Jonathan Tasini, who once blogged for HuffPo, is leading the charge. He reportedly “stopped posting on February 10, three days after the purchase of the [Huffington Post] site by AOL was announced.” He reportedly will be hosting a conference call detailing the lawsuit later Tuesday morning.

As Forbes reports, AOL “has been sued over its use of unpaid labor before” when, in 1999, two volunteer chatroom moderators sued the company, claiming “they were essentially being used as workers in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.” That suit “was eventually resolved with a $15 million settlement.”

Will this new suit result in the same? And how much longer can Huffington continue to exploit her “staff” by publishing their writings for free?

More on this intriguing lawsuit as it develops.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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