We, as a country, like to hold big business accountable. Look at the research done by the U.S. firm Vision Critical: Nearly 50 percent of Americans hold extremely negative opinions of BP because of the Gulf disaster, with a multitude of lawsuits being filed [against the company]. Lawsuits are being filed against Apple for reception problems encountered by iPhone 4 users. Even Facebook, a service that is provided to millions of users at no cost, has class-action lawsuits being filed over privacy issues.
I used to hold the firm belief that lawsuits were a result of lazy people who just wanted to “get rich quick.” But what other recourse do we, the people, have against businesses that have wronged [us]? I don't want to encourage trivial lawsuits, but maybe that's the only action we can take if we want the world's wrongs righted.
But what happens when the injustice occurs in the hands of our small, local companies? I was recently denied unemployment after terminating my employment with an Asheville-owned-and-operated business that practiced illegal time -clock-rounding practices. I had been in contact with North Carolina Department of Labor for over two years before quitting, with no results. I was denied availability status during unemployment hearings, even though the owner of the company stated on public record [that] he would continue to practice his policy.
My government has failed me. And, unlike big business lawsuits, where law firms stand in line for big money payouts, I'm stuck fronting the bill for an expensive lawyer on my $8-an-hour salary for a case that I will most likely not win.
Many people have told me it isn't worth the fight or the cost, but I believe it is our responsibility to continue to fight for our rights, even if it's a losing [fight].
— Noah Buchanan