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BA Without The A

Techdirt pointed out that Bank of America has filed a patent on a process to assess whether it is cost-effective to ditch American workers and relocate to a land of cheap labor.

Business entities have considered many solutions to improve employee attrition rates and decrease the financial strain of a competitive employee market. A typical American employee demands a high salary, good benefits, a good work environment, vacation time, and other job-related perks such as reimbursement for higher education. These job-related perks are expensive and may not be cost-effective for the business entity. A business entity is forced to commit significant resources to employ an American work force and may often find that the demands of American employees far exceed the allotted budget.

A business entity facing budget issues may choose to employ a work force from another location. The option to relocate may be considered by both American and many foreign countries, especially those countries having a high cost of living and a demanding work force [like Europe or Japan — aw]. A line of business faces many risks to relocate a portion or its entire workforce, including investing significant capital, time, and personnel. Further, the business entity may also consider many relocation options and each option's characteristics before making the decision to relocate. The business entities often find that assessing a country as a relocation option is an arduous and risky task.

The problem with this patent is that other corporations (including IBM) have beaten Bank of America to the punchbowl, making the patent voidable due to prior art.

But the bigger problem is that the patent is prima facie proof that Bank of America is hostile to its workers, for why else would they file such a patent? The Bank is also hostile to its customers, for why else would it and other banks take on the practices of the payday advance (loan-sharking) companies?

Anyway, Bank of America's hostile employment practices have caused its workers to sue the bank; and it is likely that the patent will be used as evidence of the Bank's malice towards its workers in trial.

Written by Andy West on 29 June 2010.