Realistic Superhero Headlines: Justice League Sued

(AP Metropolis) – Several younger members of the Justice League of America have filed a class action lawsuit alleging that the union of super-heroes unjustly violated child labor laws according to the Fair Labor Standards Act.  The suit, filed by Josiah Power in the U.S. District Court of Gotham, alleges that leaders of the JLA knowingly employed children under the age of 18 and placed them in harm’s way.  The suit also claims that the JLA owes their younger members hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost wages.

Some prominent names listed as plaintiffs in the suit include: Robin, Captain Marvel (Billy Batson), Superboy, Aqualad, and Wonder Girl.The plaintiffs lawyers say that the job duties of their clients are a clear record of violation of the legal standard upheld in the past by federal court.  The general rule of law is that minors who are employed by an organization should not be allowed to perform tasks that may be detrimental to their health or physical safety.   The FLSA restricts the hours and conditions of employment for minors.  It protects children under 18 years of age from “oppressive” conditions of employment.

“This is a clear violation by the JLA to abuse worker’s rights,” said Josiah Power, a LexCorp attorney.  “I am seeking the harshest punitive damages allowed in order to send a message to the JLA that they can’t intimidate these children any longer.”  He added, “We’d like to see Batman do time in Arkham Asylum;  we think Superman should be shot into space in some type of kryptonite containment pod, and we’d really prefer to see Green Lantern transported to another alternate dimension.”When looking at the job duties of someone under 18 one must consider the basic FLSA regulations:

Age

FLSA Regulations

Under age 14

~ Prohibited from most nonfarm work

 

~ May be employed by parents except in hazardous industries (ex. mining, construction, vigilante crime fighting, evil plot foiling, etc.)

Ages 14-15

~ During school hours, cannot work more than 3 hours per day

~ Cannot work in caves or lairs of any sort

 

~ Hours restricted to 7:00 am – 7:00 pm

Ages 16-17

~ Prohibited from operating hazardous work implements (ex. Trash binders, shredders, or Vorpolian Death Rays)

~ No swinging from grappling hooks.

The best chance for the defense is to go piece-by-piece through the list of defendants and find the grey area of employment.  In Captain Marvel’s case he is both a child and a man simultaneously.  Billy Batson (age 15) can transform himself into the mighty superhero Captain Marvel by uttering the word, “Shazam!”  Defense attorneys for the JLA say that most of the compensable work Captain Marvel does for the organization is in his adult form.

"Shazam!" says Billy Batson. "Now pay me time and a half!"

Also, many of the plaintiffs are under the direct supervision of a parent (Aqualad) or legal guardian (Robin).  This case may boil down to an individual parenting rights argument.

“If I want Aqualad to work in the family business, it’s my right as a parent to exercise my own judgment,” said Aquaman in a statement today.  “I should be free to raise my child without big government interfering.”

Many believe this lawsuit is an attempt by Lex Luthor and LexCorp to discredit the JLA, who has foiled his plans of world domination many times over the past decades.  Luthor dismisses the charge as “patently untrue.”