Category: Work Place Tips

Facebook Likes May Not be Worth the Job

We live in an exhausting world of social media. Whether it be on your computer, tablet, phone, social media has reached far into our lives, even to include our jobs. It is easy to feel anonymous in your social media postings, even though your name is attached. There is so much social media white noise that there’s no reason to stick out. Your employer will probably never see you online, right? It might be time to think again.

A flight attendant for the budget carrier, Spirit Airlines, is out of a job because of Facebook posts that a passenger located. The flight attendant had gone down to the tarmac joined by others (not confirmed if any of them had authority to be down on the tarmac). The flight attendant climbed into a side jet engine well and posed for several pictures in front of the turbine blades.

A passenger getting on to the flight saw the flight attendant and her companion snapping pictures, and grew concerned for the attendant’s safety as well as the safety of the plane. Trying to confirm whether or not this was part of a new pre-flight check, the passenger located the flight attendant’s Facebook page (using the employee’s name tag), and found that the photos were posted on the site. One even served as the employee’s profile picture. A comment on that photo from the flight attendant joked that she could be fired for this picture.

Spirit Airlines issued a statement saying, “the activity portrayed in the photo absolutely goes against Spirit policy.” The photos, and then eventually the entire profile, was taken down by the flight attendant. Right after the photos disappeared and while the page was still active, the flight attendant posted a quote saying, “Your wings already exist, all you have to do is fly.”

This is the latest reminder to employees that most states in this country are at will, and even a Facebook, Instagram, Twitter posting can serve as fodder for termination. Anything from photos to comments to rants might the something employers see and take action on. Remember, if you call in sick and a picture surfaces of you wine tasting in the next state over, it might not sit well with your boss if they see. Same with friending/following your boss or supervisor, then posting a rant about how much you dislike them—it never turns out well.

Source: ABC News &

Eliminating Managers: The Zappos Experiment

The famous online shoe company, Zappos, is installing a “holacracy” within its company, entrenching the retailer’s quirky reputation. In the past, CEO Tony Hsieh has encouraged and put in place many untraditional practices that other companies have embraced. For instance, Hsieh offered a $2,000 “exit plan” for new employees who did not take to the company’s offbeat, “zany” culture. So what is this holacracy, and what does that mean for Zappos?

Holacracy is defined as a system that lacks organization structure or management hierarchy. It removes power from concentrated areas and redistributes it (along with duties) among autonomous employees who will not have any sort of overseeing “micro-managing” supervisor. Zappos will be eliminated manager roles, job titles, and hierarchy.

Hsieh sent out a company-wide memo, 4,700 words long, describing the unconventional idea. In the memo, he offered another exit plan not unlike that offered for the company’s culture. If the employee meets a certain criteria set, then they may be eligible for a 3 month severance. If they meet the eligibility requirements, then the must also ready a book called Reinventing Organizations and watch an almost two hour YouTube video from the books’ author for the severance.

The Washington Post analyzed, “…it’s a way to help employees cope with radical change—while, in the process, filtering the employee pool of the least engaged folks.” Though the system is not for everyone, the company contends there’s “a lot of faith in the vision” and hopes to ensure the future health of the company.

Source: Washington Post &

When Your Employer is Watching Your Every Move – Literally

Myrna Arias was a sales executive in Bakersfield for a money transfer service called Intermex. Upon working for the company Arias was issued a company iPhone. The company required employees to download a particular clock in/clock out application loaded on the phone that became the center of Arias’ issues with the company.

When Arias inquired about the app, her boss admitted that the application still tracked the employees’ whereabouts through GPS tracking even after the employees “clocked out.” The boss, John Stubits, bragged that he knew other details about Arias’ whereabouts and habits when she was not working (i.e. he “knew how fast she was driving specific moments”). Arias and other co-workers expressed their discomfort at being tracked 24 hours a day, especially when she was not working.

Arias uninstalled the app after she told Stubits she believed it to be illegal. Stubits’ reply to his employee’s concern was that she “should tolerate the illegal intrusion…” After she uninstalled the app, she was terminated. She met all quotas and had no performance issues, so the application issue was on the forefront of her termination.

After the termination, Arias filed a lawsuit for invasion of privacy, retaliation, and unfair business practices. She is seeking in excess of $500,000 for damages and back pay for being monitored on her days off. According to the suit, “her manager made it clear that he was using the program to continuously monitor her, during company as well as personal time.”


Image Source: Apple

minimum wage

LA has Finally #RaisedtheWage!

It has finally been done. After months of review, debate, and research, the Los Angeles City Council has officially backed a plan to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour by the year 2020, superseding the state’s anticipated hike of $10 per hour. Los Angeles has become the largest city in the country to pass such a significant hike.

Though the ordinance for the wage hike will be put to a final vote next month, Mayor Eric Garcetti has promised to sign a $10.50 per hour hike, the first boost, that will take effect next July. Businesses with less than 25 employees will see a year delay in the annual increases. Low wage workers and activities are thrilled at the victory. Juan Moran, a cook, expressed to the council that on some days he can’t afford to take the bus to and from work, so he has to walk to get to his apartment, usually half an hour. At $9 per hour, Moran would often work 12 hours shifts to be able to afford rent.

Not all are thrilled, however. Business groups expressed various concerns and discomforts with the new hike. Some say that employers will have to lay off works or leave the city for a cheaper labor force. Councilman Mitchell Englander, the only Republican on the council and the only one who voted against the hike proposal, asserted that these labor increases would, “make it impossible to do business in Los Angeles.

Any concern of paid days off was removed from the wage proposal and placed in a separate investigation to be decided at a later date.

Source: LA Times

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Causation or Correlation?—Money and Happiness

There is a fine line between love and hate. How often do you watch a film or read a book about a lead character who dislikes their job but finds a way to change their lives and live happily ever after? How do you transition from work you are unhappy with to something tolerable? Is money the answer to making the job better?

According to a study conducted by the University of Florida’s business school, “level of pay had little relation to either job or pay satisfaction.” That’s right—if you dislike your job, a wage increase serves as a small band aide over a war wound. While it may look and feel better for several days, weeks, months, the larger issue still plagues you.

In that University of Florida study, a sample of attorneys earning $148,000 annually, on average, were not as satisfied with their jobs as a sample of childcare workers who, on average, made $23,500 per year.

Financial stability, surprisingly, is not the top priority when it comes to happiness at a job. CNN Opinion writer, Ron Friedman, wrote about job happiness. He analyzed that the cost of an employee’s psychological wellbeing can’t be bought permanently with a raise. Employees crave growth, education, and connection with colleagues, as well as a certain freedom to work within their own habits.

Friedman offers an interesting example: you are offered a job making a handsome six figure salary. Your only job duty is to stare at a wall continuously for the entire workday with nothing else to do. No computer to surf the internet, no phone to Instagram on, no book to pass the time. “Changes are you’d be miserable. Not because you’re not getting paid enough, but because your job fails to satisfy your human desires.”

Source: CNN Opinions