City Council’s No-Texting Bill
The first of our business headlines for the week concerns an article from The New York Times titled “The Right To Disconnect.” There is a bill in circulation from the City Council that, if it passes, will prohibit employers from requiring electronic communication with employees after hours. But the bill will only apply if the company has 10 or more employees. Not only that, but if an employer does not comply with the bill, they will be slapped with a $250 fine for the after-hours intrusion!
Monica Link and David Grasso, our hosts, present the two opposing arguments concerning the issue. Link thinks that it is essential to have a time after which she will receive no further electronic communications. While Grasso doesn’t necessarily disagree with this, he does make the point that sometimes an employer must contact an employee. Sometimes this has to happen “after hours,” too, via electronic communication. The idea of incurring a $250 fine for this feels a bit ridiculous. In any case, both Link and Grasso expect that the bill will not pass anyway, and it might even be a purely political move. As Grasso says, sometimes bills are circulated without any aim of passing at all, and only so people will take notice, write about the bill, and help gain positive publicity for its creators
Zuckerberg, Facebook and the Data Scandal
Our second headline to kick off the week came from Entrepreneur and shines the light on the tech giant Facebook. Specifically, founder Mark Zuckerberg and his failure to either directly accept blame for the Cambridge Analytica scandal, or to agree to testifying in front of Congress (Zuckerberg has since agreed to testify.) Cambridge Analytica, the data software company that did some work for Donald Trump during his presidential campaign, was discovered data mining Facebook’s information on 50 million users and using it for promotional purposes in the presidential campaign, among other things.
This breach, of course, brings up some major privacy issues and shines a light on Facebook’s intrusive policies and strategies when it comes to learning about its users. From incisive ad-targeting to selling off their acquired data to companies for profit, the scandal has raised the question of how much we can trust Facebook, or indeed any of our beloved social media platforms.
A survey on government service quality state-by-state
Our second-to-last headline comes from the personal finance website WalletHub that recently conducted a survey aimed at comparing state and local taxes state-to-state. The survey asks “What contributes to a higher quality of governmental services in any given state?” As well as “Do states with higher taxes receive governmental services that are superior to more low-taxed states?”
Turns out that New Hampshire was found to have the highest quality of governmental services, while Hawaii had the lowest quality governmental services. As for us New Yorkers, you’ll probably be disheartened to learn that we ranked 46th on the list. Another fun fact: WalletHub found that red states tended to have far better governmental services than blue states.
Careful what you email
Our last headline comes from Entrepreneur as well. The article “Ten Things Never To Say In An Email” explores well … just what it says. What you should, and, more importantly, what you should not discuss in emails that are sent from your work account. Because things get lost in translation, and you just can never be sure your employers aren’t watching/reading (after all, these emails aren’t private), it is best to use discretion and err on the side of caution and respectability. Some of the things that make the list of inappropriate emails include: “constructive” criticism (even if you find it constructive, employers might beg to differ) and “tentative” language (in other words, no cussin’ or being lewd, crude, or something that rhymes with crude). Also, if you’re sending follow-up emails that have no context provided, it is best to leave it out completely. Contextless emails are a sure way to be misunderstood by your employer. Keep it PG. Keep it polite. And switch to your personal email when you have some dirt to dish.
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