The Daily Progress Newspaper Review

The Daily Progress advertises jobs for paper delivery personnel on Craigslist. They list a "salary" of $300 per week. I responded to the ad, got a very quick reply, and was basically hired unseen. I was told to report the upcoming Tuesday to begin training. In my response to the acceptance, I wanted to confirm the salary, so I asked again if it was $300 a week. I got a reply back from my contact, who stated, and I am copying and pasting this directly from his email, "Yes the route would make 1200 a month, plus a $100 sign on bonus once you complete 30 days and another $100 after you’ve been contracted for 90 days."I showed up on the agreed upon night (the shift was from 2:30 a.m. until approximately 7:00 a.m.), and trained with an exceptional trainer. I did this for five nights in a row, staying up all night to deliver papers with my trainer and trying to grab a few hours of sleep during the day. It was not until my fifth night that I was finally approached by someone in management to discuss the position.When approached by management, I was given a contract, which did NOT state a salary of $300 per week, but rather, an agreement where I would buy papers from the Daily Progress at an approximately 23% discount and resale them at retail price, and keep the difference as a cut. The contract also stipulated that if I did not give 30 days notice before quitting, that I would be "fined" $1,000.00.This job is NOT what is offered on Craigslist, and it is NOT what I was told it would be through my email interactions with my contact at the Daily Progress. Basically, it’s not a w-2 salaried or hourly rate position. It’s a 1099 contractor position. Also, the contractor must purchase a bond, carry auto insurance (which I do, and which is the law in Virginia, anyway), and the contractor must purchase their own plastic bags for newspapers, as well as other incidentals. The way the math works out, one would be working every night, seven nights a week, for about $500 in clear profit (after paying for gasoline, etc.), and who knows how much one would spend on wear and tear on one’s vehicle?My complaint is not in how the job is actually constructed, i.e. as a contracted position rather than a salaried or hourly rate pay job, it’s how it’s advertised as such and how it was confirmed, incorrectly to me, that it was.I worked five nights, actually driving my personal vehicle two of those nights, which I was not being covered for liability by the Daily Progress in doing so since I’d not ratified any contract, and at the end of the fifth night, I chose not to ratify the contract. This position was not as described, and I was not comfortable in taking the job as a contractor, though I actually enjoyed the tasks associated with the job. I knew that in time, I’d adjust to the sleep schedule.I was informed by my trainer on the last night that I would NOT be getting paid for the five nights that I worked because I had not ratified the contract. It is of my opinion that these folks intentionally mislead job candidates through advertising and limited contact, out of fear that if people knew the truth, they’d never be able to fill the position. I would hope that they would be forced to be fully truthful and upfront about the job details and how the job is set up as a contracted position, rather than a salaried position or hourly rate position going forward, so no one else has to "donate" five nights, or any amount of nights to the Daily Progress, working for free, and being away from their families in the wee hours of the morning, when, by the way, at least in my case, the temperatures were in the 20’s, and I was riding around for more than three hours each night with the car windows down, throwing out newspapers and stuffing them in delivery drop boxes.

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