When You Take a Job and Get Scammed
Nicole Dieker

Wow does Michael ever sound shady. I’m glad that Penny Kim had a boyfriend and an apartment to return to in Texas and that, aside from her bonuses and mental anguish, she seems to have emerged from this experience relatively unscathed. I can imagine that many people in worse financial straights (and without the foresight to stay in an Airbnb instead of signing a lease) would’ve suffered a lot more from this experience. Not that Kim’s relative lack of suffering excuses the startup of any wrongdoing. Borrowing your employees’ life savings is wrong. Forging paychecks is wrong. And lying to your employees is wrong. The company would’ve done a lot better by its employees if it had just been upfront with them when the first set of paychecks was late. People who want to work at startups might be willing to deal with a late check or two if they still believed that the company could be turned around. But if a startup loses its employees’ trust in its management, there’s no way for it to recover.

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