Bay Area tech worker awarded $10M after being shot by deputy in Tahoe

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A Northern California county has paid nearly $10 million to settle a lawsuit by a Silicon Valley software engineer who was having a mental health crisis two years ago when a deputy shot him, paralyzing him from the waist down.

Placer County paid Samuel Kolb, 50, and his family $9.9 million to settle the lawsuit the family filed after a deputy shot him twice on Jan. 14, 2018, inside a North Lake Tahoe rental cabin where Kolb and his teenage son were vacationing, Kolb said.

“There’s a measure of relief in not having to go through this and not having to put my family through any more legal challenges. But I would trade all the money plus interest to have my old life back, to not have gone through this and put my family through this, to have full use of my body. No amount of

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Google violated U.S. labor laws in clampdown on worker organizing, regulator says

OAKLAND, Calif. (Reuters) – The National Labor Relations Board issued a complaint on Wednesday accusing Alphabet Inc’s Google of unlawfully monitoring and questioning several workers who were then fired for protesting against company policies and trying to organize a union.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Google is seen in Davos, Switzerland Januar 20, 2020. Picture taken January 20, 2020. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

The U.S. labor regulator found Google unlawfully placed employees on administrative leave and terminated them for accessing documents related to how the company polices internal forums, according to the complaint. The agency also found unlawful Google policies for accessing documents and meetings rooms as well as its tactics for investigating employees because all of the efforts were aimed at deterring workplace organizing, the complaint said.

Google said it was confident it acted legally.

“Google has always worked to support a culture of internal discussion, and we place immense

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Amazon is launching new industrial AI tools to help companies monitor productivity and worker safety

diagram: An Amazon logistics center in Lauwin-Planque, France. Pascal Rossignol/Reuters

© Pascal Rossignol/Reuters
An Amazon logistics center in Lauwin-Planque, France. Pascal Rossignol/Reuters

  • Amazon AWS is launching a series of industrial monitoring tools that use AI to help companies identify potential equipment failures, productivity bottlenecks, and worker safety violations.
  • The new tools, previously reported by Business Insider, signal Amazon’s growing ambitions in the industrial cloud space.
  • One of the tools uses artificial intelligence to analyze video footage and look for “anomalies” in industrial processes, raising concerns given reports of Amazon’s history of spying on workers and using racially and gender biased AI. 
  • An Amazon spokesperson told Business Insider the tool doesn’t currently have “pre-packaged facial recognition capabilities,” and that AWS “thoroughly tests and audits” its algorithms and uses diverse training data.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Amazon AWS is launching a series of industrial machine learning tools aimed at helping companies use artificial intelligence to monitor factory workers and

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Fort Bragg’s horny tweets are earning this sex worker thousands of dollars a month

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

“Holy s—, this is the largest U.S. military installation,” an OnlyFans adult-content creator said to herself on October 22, moments after one of her Twitter posts went viral.

The sex worker, who asked that we referred to her by her stage name, “Quinn Finite,” was in the car with her boyfriend when she started receiving hundreds of alerts after the official Twitter account for Fort Bragg, the home of the U.S. Army’s Airborne and Special Operations Command, had replied to her tweets with sexually-charged messages in public view.

The Army base’s Twitter account commented on her pubic hair and reacted to one of her nude images by suggesting that Finite and the Twitter account should engage in sexual acts.

As the minutes passed by, hundreds of Twitter users began noticing the sexually-charged tweets and replying back with jokes. The installation responded

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Amazon worker who was fired after leading COVID-19 safety protest files lawsuit against tech giant

Amazon Walkout; Chris Smalls
Amazon Walkout; Chris Smalls

Chris Smalls, a former Amazon employee who was fired in March after staging a small walkout over conditions, speaks during a protest of working conditions outside of an Amazon warehouse fulfillment center on May 1, 2020 in the Staten Island borough of New York City. People attending the protest are concerned about Amazon’s handling of the coronavirus and are demanding more safety precautions during the pandemic. Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

This article originally appeared here on

Chris Smalls, a former Amazon worker who made headlines for organizing a walkout over working conditions at an Amazon fulfillment center in Queens, N.Y., is suing the tech giant that fired him, Smalls believes, for organizing workers. 

The class action suit filed in Brooklyn claims that Amazon violated federal and state laws due to the company’s failure to provide adequate COVID-19 protections, specifically to Black and other minority workers. Smalls,

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Startup Dumpling is flipping Uber and Instacart contract worker model

  • Some of Silicon Valley’s most powerful companies like Uber, Lyft, Instacart, and DoorDash spent $200 million backing Proposition 22, the legislation just passed in California that allows these companies to continue treating gig workers as contractors rather than employees.
  • Meanwhile, grocery delivery app Dumpling raised $6.5 million to build a model that gives workers more control, helping them launch and run their own personal shopping businesses.
  • The startup says its shoppers make an average of $35 per order, more than three times the average for Instacart workers.
  • For most entrepreneurs and gig workers, Dumpling isn’t a replacement for other apps, at least not right away, but it can be an effective way to build and market your own personal shopping business.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

For full-time grocery shopper Suze Knobler, customers are more than the transactions flashing across her phone. She cares for them like family,

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Apps Win, Labor Frets After Uber-led ‘Gig Worker’ Measure Passes

A victory for the “gig economy” in California is likely to echo across the US, in a boon for app-based services while igniting fear that big business is rewriting labor laws.

Rideshare and delivery apps matching tasks with those willing to perform them as independent contractors sidestepped a labor law with the passage of Proposition 22 in a referendum put before state voters.

“Going forward, you’ll see us more loudly advocate for new laws like Prop 22,” Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi said. “It’s a priority for us to work with governments across the US and the world to make this a reality.”

Proposition 22 — backed by Uber, Lyft and other app-based, on-demand delivery services like DoorDash and Instacart — effectively overturns a state law requiring them to reclassify their drivers and provide employee benefits.

“This is very positive for anybody who has a humans-as-a-service type mentality,” said analyst

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From Facebook to Reddit, how Silicon Valley salary adjustments could redefine remote worker earnings

To adjust pay, or not to adjust pay? That is the question employers are asking as they rethink their compensation strategies in response to the new era of remote work.

a man sitting on a bench in the city

© Provided by CNBC

Social media site, Reddit last week became the latest in a slew of tech companies to take a decisive stance on the issue, announcing that it would not cut the pay of its 600 U.S. employees regardless of where in the country they choose to live.

The call contrasts with those from Facebook and Twitter, which have said they will cut the pay of employees who choose to relocate away from their head offices in the

. Payments platform Stripe said it will offer employees $20,000 to help with moving costs but will then cut pay by 10%. Meanwhile, Software maker VMWare said it could reduce relocating staff

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Uber, Lyft Shares Surge As California Passes Ballot Initiative on Driver and Delivery Worker Independence

a close up of a car: Uber, Lyft Shares Surge As California Passes Ballot Initiative on Driver and Delivery Worker Independence

© TheStreet
Uber, Lyft Shares Surge As California Passes Ballot Initiative on Driver and Delivery Worker Independence

Uber Technologies shares surged higher Wednesday, as did its ride-sharing rival Lyft Inc. , as early indications from a ballot initiative in California suggest the two companies can continue to treat their drivers as independent contractors.

California voters look to have passed Proposition 22, the most expensive ballot initiative in the state’s history, by a 58% to 42% margin Wednesday, enabling Uber, Lyft and other so-called ‘gig economy’ companies to allow drivers and delivery workers to set their own hours. Passing Proposition 22 will override a 2019 law that classified the drivers as employees of the San Francisco companies.

The win also relieves the burden of offering healthcare, unemployment insurance and minimum wage salaries from gig economy companies, who had argued such cost would lead to job cuts and price increases.


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Factbox: California gig worker fight mirrored in other states, countries

(Reuters) – All eyes are on California as the state’s voters decide the future of the gig economy in a Nov. 3 ballot initiative that will determine whether Uber Technologies Inc, Lyft Inc, Doordash and others can classify drivers as independent contractors rather than employees.

An Uber logo and a “I voted” sign are seen during the global outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Redondo Beach, Los Angeles, California, U.S., November 2, 2020. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

That question is also being tested in other countries, states and agencies as well:


The EU’s highest court in 2017 held that Uber is a transport service to be regulated like taxi companies, not a technology platform that connects riders with drivers. That opened the way for challenges in EU national courts. European taxi companies are heavily regulated on the local levels, and their drivers are generally full-time employees who have to

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