Here are 5 things you should know.
1. Unpaid internships where the employer derives any immediate benefit are Federally illegal.
They are required to pay you if you do any real work.
Here are the six criteria from the Department of Labor, all of which an unpaid internship must pass in order to be legal.
- The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment.
- The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern.
- The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff.
- The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded.
- The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship.
- The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.
There have been many high profile lawsuits where unpaid interns have received compensation for their illegal employment. Viacom settled for $7.2 million, and NBCUniversal for $6.4 million
If you feel like any of this applies to you, then contact your State Bar and ask for a lawyer that specializes in employment law.
2. Unlimited vacation policies end up being a scam that ends up paying you less.
Unlimited vacation policies (pioneered and popularized originally by Netflix) sound like a great deal but in practice usually result in lower total compensation and no greater vacation.
First, background: unlimited vacation is usually described to an employee as “we are all mature adults, so you can take vacation whenever you want, as long as you get your work done.” Usually, your direct manager’s agreement is necessary – the whole “unlimited” thing just means HR isn’t tracking some number somewhere.
Sounds great, right? Not so fast.
One of the oft-raised objections is that (since these policies are popular with tech companies and startups) no one takes any vacation anyways, and if you are one of the people who actually uses the policy to take a vacation, your coworkers and boss will look down on you and your advancement will be limited.
This isn’t the biggest issue. It’s a flaw in regular vacation policies anyways – employees who never take vacation days and work all the time tend to be viewed more favorably as being “more devoted to the company” etc. The real problem is much more insidious.
To understand, here is how vacation policies are implemented on the HR tracking side:
Let’s assume you have a “2 weeks of vacation per year” vacation policy. Specifically, that’s “80 hours (10 workdays x 8 hours/day) of vacation per every 24 biweekly pay periods.” These units are key – every pay period, the system accumulates 3.33 hours of vacation in your “bank” of vacation “days” (hours). After 24 pay periods (one year), you’ll have accumulated 80 hours of vacation, the equivalent of 2 weeks off. When you take a vacation (let’s say you take 3 days off), the system subtracts 24 vacation hours from your “bank.” Now here’s the key:
When you quit your job, if you have any hours left in your “bank” of vacation days, by law you must then be paid for all those hours. (in the US)
The way “paid vacation” is implemented is that as you work, you are essentially “earning” more hours/days for which you are paid. You “take days off” by spending those but any you don’t spend are owed to you as paid time when you leave.
Here’s the kicker: unlimited vacation policies take away all of these paid days and reduce them to zero.
In practice, unlimited vacation policies don’t result in people taking more total days off. You’re there to work, and most people just take time off around the holidays plus a handful of personal days throughout the year. Anyone on such a policy who (under a real paid vacation policy) would have even a single remaining unused vacation day doesn’t end up getting paid for it upon leaving.
Let me make this clear:
Under a typical paid vacation policy (for salaried employees), when you take a paid vacation day off, you’re paid twice: you’re still receiving your salary as though you were in the office, and you’re using a vacation day that you earned. If you did not take this day off, you’d get paid for being in the office and when you leave the company, you get paid for that vacation day.
Under an unlimited vacation policy, when you take a paid vacation day off, you’re paid only once: you’re receiving your salary as though you were in the office, and that’s it. If you hadn’t taken that day off, then when you leave the company, you don’t get paid anything at all.
What is incredibly ironic here is that HR people understand this fully and have attempted in many cases to advise their companies and fellow employees not to go to unlimited vacation policies, because it results in lower total compensation, but the “cultural” notion around unlimited vacation as an “enlightened” policy is so strong that they are often over-ridden.
3. According to Nielsen 68% of people trust online reviews for local businesses – so please take the time to review the small businesses that you love.
Reviews matter a lot.
Websites like TripAdvisor & Yelp truly helps small businesses to grow.
4. How to stop anyone from strangling or overpowering you.
First of all: Do not test this on yourself!
It will be painful and may cause damage.
All you need to do is grab one of their Pinky Fingers and push it sharply backward, this will cause an intense pain, and the person will let go of you and be stunned/disabled for a short time.
You don’t need to use your whole hand to do it either, just a couple of your fingers will be strong enough to push their Pinky back. You’ll need to push their Pink back sharply and intensely.
This is not for fun, it’s for serious situations only.
5. Chase offers a free tool (even for non-customers) called Credit Journey.
Chase offers a free tool (even for non-customers) called Credit Journey that simulates to you how various factors (e.g. adding credit, canceling a card, missing payments, taking out a loan, getting a credit inquiry) will change your personal credit score.
It’s called Credit Journey. It takes your info, you select the things you want to test and then simulate.
For example, if you’re about to buy a house and want to see how much a new credit card will hurt you, select one new credit card, guess the credit limit, add one inquiry and simulate
#4 – there is no explanation for “push their pinky back”. The information is useless like saying, “If your pilot is unconscious, all you have to do is just land the plane.”
So many of these “Things you should know” articles are US specific.