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Uber’s Nemesis Accused of Breaking Employment Rules Herself Running Kinky Phone Sex Service

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Former Uber driver and male-to-female transsexual Barbara Ann Berwick is making headlines after winning a potentially game-changing employment case against the tech firm. But former employees of a phone-sex company run by Berwick in the 1990s claim she is guilty of the same violations of employment law of which she is now accusing Uber.

Furthermore, Berwick’s phone sex business, by her own admission plagued by litigation, was a hostile working environment where employees were paid poor wages and where a small child was allowed to play among pornographic magazines, says a former telephone operator who claims to be “shaking with anger” at the “hypocrisy” of Berwick’s “stunt.”

Berwick, who now runs a small asset management firm which claims to have $1 million under management, successfully persuaded the California Labor Commission that her work as an Uber driver made her an employee of the company, not an independent contractor. She has since had two rulings in her favour. It is not clear why Berwick, who is a wealthy member of San Francisco’s LGBT community, needed to drive an Uber to make ends meet.

The rulings, which Uber intends to appeal, have potentially catastrophic implications for the company, whose business model is predicated on Uber being a platform for self-employed contractors, rather than a traditional employer.

Speaking to Reuters, Berwick claimed that her work as the owner of a phone sex company in the 1990s enabled her to get to grips with the distinction between employees and contractors. But her former employee says that Berwick herself failed to properly make that distinction.

“She employed many girls who worked from home and they were required to be independent contractors,” said the former phone operator, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals. “But Berwick dictated their per-minute pay and their required hours. They did not get to bill her or set their own hours, which according to the law would make them employees, not independent contractors.”

“I questioned this … and was told to shut my mouth,” the source claimed. “She broke the law, the same law she’s sued about, yet she was on the other end of it being the business owner taking advantage of the workers.”

One phone sex operator on Berwick’s payroll reportedly had to be called multiple times before being connected to clients, as she was often in a stupor the others ascribed to illegal drugs. The operator in question occasionally “went dark” for days at a time.

The most shocking allegation about Berwick’s phone sex operation came from a former employee who told us that Berwick’s adopted child, who was “very young at the time and adopted from Eastern Europe,” was brought in on a regular basis, where he was left alone to play with explicit magazines.

“We ran ads in all those magazines and it was a daily chore to page through them and find our ad to make sure we weren’t paying for nothing,” claimed the former office worker. “The kid played in stacks of porno magazines. We’re talking the serious stuff, the kinky stuff. Hardcore porn. I was horrified.”

Work at Berwick’s phone-sex shop involved “fielding calls, asking what [callers’] kinks were, and then selecting a ‘fantasy worker’ for the caller.” The source says pay was “terrible… minimum wage,” with sex workers in some cases being paid just 10 cents per minute for calls that were charged to customers at rates more than twenty times that amount.

Berwick’s phone sex business was eventually sold to another, similar firm. “A lesbian named Maria ran that place,” Breitbart was told. “She was very nice, but shared the same business practices as Berwick. The phone sex operators weren’t allowed to work for anyone else except Maria’s company and the billing was identical, which also violated the law regarding independent contractors.”

Berwick told Breitbart last night that pay was “negotiated” with workers “free to work any hours they liked.” Berwick also emphasised that unlike Uber, she did not have the same “control mechanisms” (e.g, no fee for cancellations) that Uber has over its drivers, so the two situations are not comparable.

She also rejected allegations that she exposed her children to pornography, adding that both her children now had successful careers and were, she stressed, “well-adjusted.”


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