"The founder is a sexist man masquerading as a progressive Bernie Sanders supporter, who thinks that a "salary secrecy office culture" is acceptable and legal in America (FYI, it has been illegal since 1930). He has made it clear to his employees that he hates HR and HR Managers, and instead of an HR Department Plugable has a neglected "Suggestions Box" that Bernie has failed to look at in several months. He also claims to have an "open door" policy, but when I told him that he and my direct manager were overwhelmed and should consider delegating more tasks to make things more efficient, he refused to acknowledge that him and my manager being overloaded is a serious problem for the company at large.
I am partially the reason Bernie implemented a "Salary Secrecy" policy in the first place. I happen to have been friends with 3 people who worked there prior to ever knowing Plugable even existed, and I was married to my husband and dating him long before then too. So obviously, friends and spouses share salary info. Bernie didn't like this, especially because in the process of discussing it with my coworkers, we discovered that I was being paid about $5,000-$15,000 less than all of my male coworkers in the same title. Bernie also made a job listing for my position with a salary range, and my salary at the time (February 2017) was about $2,500 less than the minimum range posted for my position, which I had been working in for over a year at that point. Bernie eventually realized that it was a liability and gave me a pathetic $2,500 raise just to get me barely over the minimum salary and avoid a lawsuit.
A week after my husband decided to "do the right thing" and tell his manager that he was looking for another job (mainly due to Bernie constantly telling him that he's "close to the cap" for his salary at Plugable), the Founder decided to terminate me without consulting with or even notifying my direct supervisor ahead of time. Bernie then confirmed with my direct supervisor afterwards that he was firing me now, because it would look less like retaliation against my husband if he did it BEFORE my husband left the company. Bernie began my surprise, retaliatory termination meeting with the statement, "It's tough when married couples work for the same company."
My husband and I have worked for the same employer in the past, and we are completely professional. So he fired me because of the actions of my husband, and said nothing but positive things about my work ethic and skill-set during the termination to make things more confusing. He also denied me the right to work remotely from home in spite of my rights to accommodation provided through ADA, while he allowed multiple male coworkers of mine with the same job title and who were totally healthy to work remotely without issue. Bernie also attempted to deny my rights to an individual health insurance plan as an employee of Plugable, and attempted to convince our Benefits Coordinator that I didn't need my own policy because I could just pay to be an add-on with my husband's policy. Thankfully the Benefits Coordinator was a very straightforward woman and said, "No, she has a right to her own policy, because she's also an employee here". The fact that it needed to be said at all just shows how inherently misogynist the Founder is.
If you have physical pain related health problems, Bernie thinks it's all in your head, especially if you're a woman. I happen to have multiple chronic pain conditions that have been diagnosed and treated by multiple doctors for the last 7 years. Bernie "gifted" me a book that essentially says, "Pain is just internal rage, and if you express your rage your pain will magically disappear". Every time I explained my physical pain conditions to Bernie he'd talk about how he "threw his problems at the mountain" and got stress relief from mountain climbing and exercise. That's great Bernie, but you can't throw rheumatoid arthritis or my winter episode of gastritis "at the mountain" and I've already been practicing yoga almost daily for years as a way of managing pain and stress. Try telling a disabled retiree with rheumatoid arthritis that they just need to do some mountain climbing and "express their internal rage" and their arthritis pain will be totally gone. Since I'm a 20-something, he probably doesn't believe I even have doctor established diagnoses. He also never asked for doctor's notes in spite of me going into the negative for sick time by over 60 hours.
Another thing Bernie did is directly insult me because of my age. I was the second youngest employee at the company, and one day I emailed Bernie to clarify a company policy that hadn't been established yet. I told him that I asked my direct supervisor about it already in my email, and that it wasn't clear that a policy was already in place (Bernie hates putting company policies on paper, because then he can actually be held accountable for them, like remote work privileges and salary secrecy). Bernie responded with, "Asking me after you already asked your supervisor is like a child asking one parent for permission, getting a "no", then trying to ask the same thing of the other parent". So Bernie basically called me a child because I asked for clarification on a company policy, and then erroneously thinks that I went over my supervisor's head by asking Bernie directly, even though I told him in the email that the supervisor never gave me an answer.
I found out from friends around the office that he's shown sexism towards basically every woman that has ever worked there. Of the 9 women he's hired into the company over the last 4 years, 4 of them were terminated by Bernie. Meanwhile, only 1 man was terminated in that same time span, in spite of a huge majority of men working there. Coincidence? Absolutely not.
In summary, Bernie is an ageist, sexist, misogynist man with an ego the size of a planet, who now refuses to take any of his employees seriously (even the menfolk now too) and is watching as his Amazon empire slowly burns to the ground with all of the terrible decisions he's been making as a result of being overloaded. I don't recommend women, people with health problems, or men with opinions on business operations work at this company. Bernie has said he plans to sell Plugable someday, and hopefully the person he sells it to will be a more decent human being.
Overall Job Satisfaction:
Are women & men treated equally?
Does the CEO support gender diversity?
One thing Plugable Technologies can improve?
"Improve my compensation"
Position or Department
Business Systems Analyst/product Owner, IT
Level of Flexibility
"Employer offers flex time, but then tries to tell certain employees (myself included) that they're expected to be in the office by no later than 9am."
Work-Life Friendly Attributes:
Did you take Maternity leave?
Would you recommend Plugable Technologies to other women?
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