A number of dot-com workers have recently donated their valuable time to a new and unusual cause, the Industry Standard reported August 7: their own companies.
Cash-strapped startups often find themselves cutting their budgets. Some ask their workers to come in without pay until new investors can be found. And many workers, surprisingly, agree.
There are many reasons why workers stay without pay, including genuine loyalty, blind faith in the web company stock boom and simple inertia. A big component for many employees is the fear of losing the stock options that lured them to a startup in the first place.
Writers and editors are more likely to stay, while businesspeople are less likely to believe that stock options in ailing startups will pay off. At APBnews.com, the crime reporting site, editorial staffers stayed for the site’s well-publicized “volunteer period” in June. Most of the business staff left immediately.
Even with an employee’s consent, withholding pay violates federal labor law.
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