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I don't know what the culture is like at Miso but I would take

"After you lost our data and caused our entire company to scramble for 3 days, I am hesitant."


"How do I justify to the rest of the team paying you an exorbitant bonus for team building after you trashed a production system that cost the team 3 days of work, then quit."

Not that this changes the fact that they should have paid.

I will just point out that in the present climate the bonus is NOT exorbitant where Miso is based, especially post-funding or after a few employees.

Exorbitant would be: equity; $50k; paid on when the referral joins (instead after 6 months); paid if the referral is brought in for an interview, regardless of hire. (would be VERY VERY exorbitant). This is just standard.

I guess it is a different culture. In the teams I have experience with, people referred because they wanted to work with good people.

You either need to read the fine print of your employment contracts better, or you've never signed one that included a referral bonus. It probably would've been mentioned by your hiring manager, or whoever interviewed you for the position, or the HR rep.

The amount varies, but the last two places I've worked have spelled out their referral bonus amounts and terms explicitly.

It sounds like you're talking about companies where there wasn't a bonus of this kind and magitude. If so, yeah, different and not really comparable (maybe a token $500 or whatever). Otherwise I think if there's the bonus and people ask for it, obviously it does figure in motivating them to take proactive steps to bring someone on.

Who is John Galt?

mcteapot, please realize that people are a mix of lots of different preferences and motivations. I think we can all agree that on the whole, when management says you will get $10k for a certain action, it means that they expect this helps more people do the action. That doesn't mean it's the only reason they do it, or that some of the people who do it after the bonus wouldn't have done it without the bonus. It just means it helps. Otherwise, if it doesn't help, why not call it a thank-you-for-not-parking-in-the-handicapped-space-when-you-shouldn't bonus (assuming that, like most companies, nobody happens to have any problem with not doing this, and at any given time either the handicapped spaces are empty or employees with a legitimate entitlement are using them) and give it to every employee equally? I mean, if you don't expect it to have any effect whatsoever on referrals/behavior...

Also, I want to make a nuanced but important point here. The employer in this particular case is explicitly kind of saying, "yeah, it might have kind of helped at the time, but you're not working here anymore." By that logic, every single person who ever gives notice should have their last paycheck docked if the time to cut the check occurs after they have left. After all, even though the paycheck might have originally helped them work there, they're not working there anymore so that doesn't matter. Why should an employer ever pay the last paycheck? You're not part of the team anymore and the paycheck is meant to motivate employees to work, that's why it exists. "Also, you dropped the database", or some made-up excuse.

I think we can all agree that people don't just work for money, but we can also all agree that every employer needs to pay the last paycheck, even if the time to pay it comes after the employee has left. To me, per my comment that you replied to, the fact that the database thing was brought up means the employer is trying to squirm out of settling a debt; rather than say that it wasn't a real debt.

Reading between the lines I was assuming the guy got fired for the screwup.

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