Monterey, Calif.-based Language Line Services has issued a statement in response to a news release and article on PhillyBurbs.com from competitor Language Services Associates (LSA) alleging two major legal victories.
Full text of the statement from Louis Provenzano, president and CEO of Language Line Services:
“In a desperate attempt to overcome the fact that a federal judge last year issued an injunction against LSA for stealing Language Line Services trade secrets, and then was found by the same judge and a special master to have violated that injunction numerous times, LSA has issued a press release claiming to have won a major victory in a continuing ‘war’ with Language Line. There is no ‘war’ with Language Line Services. Language Line Services has shown that LSA engages in deceptive activities, and when these deceptive acts are discovered, Language Line Services challenges those deceptions. The only ‘war’ here is LSA’s war on the truth.
“In one case Language Line Services successfully stopped LSA’s pilfering of trade secrets. In this second case featured in its deceptive press release, LSA won a Commonwealth of Pennsylvania contract claiming that it was a small business notwithstanding that it engages thousands of interpreters it claims to train, schedule and control. Notwithstanding this misclassification of employees that would not withstand federal scrutiny, the Pennsylvania court, in this purely administrative proceeding that was not a trial, had no discovery, and was not on anything resembling a full record, decided that under Pennsylvania law LSA was not misclassifying the interpreters by claiming them as independent contractors. And when Language Line Services tried to get from the Commonwealth copies of the agreements with these alleged contractors to prove the deception, LSA did everything in its power to prevent disclosure of those agreements. So yes, LSA succeeded in its deception. But this ‘win’ is nothing more than a loss for its customers and the people of the states in which LSA does business.
“Under federal law and the law of most states, workers who are controlled by the companies they work for legally are employees and not contractors. In the language interpretation industry, this control takes the form of ongoing training, scheduling, performance evaluation, and requires the following of rules designed to protect customer secrets. LSA’s ‘victory’ in this case means nothing more than it was able to escape having to pay the taxes and employee benefits a responsible interpretation company should pay. Language Line Services, the company that founded the industry and is the largest company in it, believes that companies like LSA that avoid these responsibilities are unfair to interpreters and to the people of the states who would benefit from the payment of tax revenue.
“So who won in Pennsylvania? Certainly not the people of that state who should have.”