Background: Because we hire good people that we trust — and because we believe in the benefits of taking time off (building into your family, recreation, exploration, re-charging, friendships, etc.) — we have an unlimited vacation policy.
Full-time, salaried employees of Differential at the time of hire are eligible for paid time off.
How it Works and Restrictions:
- You must add time off through Rippling, which will automatically get added to the shared Differential Google calendar. This is not intended for purposes of tracking how much time you're taking (or to limit you in any way). It's for capacity management and planning purposes (as a client-services company, we must make sure we're fulfilling obligations).
- You must share your vacation plans with the immediate team you're working with well before (at least a few weeks) your trip. Be a good teammate and make sure you tie up any loose ends. Give people any critical information they need and a way to reach you (in case of emergency only).
- You may not take any more than two consecutive work weeks without prior discussion with your Product Team Lead and HR.
- You can take time off in increments (i.e. a few hours at a time), however, if you are “flexing” time, you only need to communicate that to your team and you don’t need to book as time-off. Flex time is when you move time around to accommodate life, and you make it up either before or after. Some people may flex an hour from the morning to the evening or an afternoon to the weekend. The goal is to maintain freedom and flexibility with scheduling while still meeting work expectations.
- Use good judgment with timing. If you're working on a project with critical dates/needs, plan around them to the best of your ability.
- Upon employment termination, any paid time off will be forfeited.
Final Thoughts: Please don't abuse this policy. For many reasons, we think this is the best possible policy (and checks the "flexibility" box very well), but it only works if you respect your teammates and our clients and use good judgment.
Use it! While not required, we highly recommend taking a total of at least two weeks of time off per year.
Actually disconnect. Don't be "that person" who is responding to emails throughout their time off. While we know that it's sometimes necessary to be available, legitimately spending some time "off the grid" is amazing for you, your personal and familial relationships. Also, no one person (partners included!) are so important that this company would fall apart if checked out for a week or two.
Though we do have an unlimited vacation policy (see the previous section, "Unlimited Vacation"), meaning you can technically take whatever days off you like (by following the procedures outlined in that section), the following are paid company observed holidays, meaning we don't expect anyone to be working (and you do not have to request it off).
Company Observed Holidays:
- New Year's Eve (December 31 or closest work day if New Year's Eve falls on a weekend)
- New Year's Day (January 1 or closest work day if New Year's Day falls on a weekend)
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day (third Monday in January)
- Who Dey! (Conditional Holiday*)
- Good Friday (Friday before Easter)
- Memorial Day (last Monday in May)
- Juneteenth (June 19th)
- Independence Day (July 4)
- Labor Day (first Monday in September)
- Veterans Day (November 11 or closest work day if Veterans Day falls on a weekend)
- Thanksgiving Day (fourth Thursday in November)
- Day after Thanksgiving
- Christmas Eve (December 24 or closest work day if Christmas Eve falls on a weekend)
- Christmas Day (December 25 or closest work day if Christmas falls on a weekend)
*Who Dey! If the Cincinnati Bengals go to the Super Bowl, the Monday after the Super Bowl is a Company Observed Holiday.
It is the policy of Differential to provide up to 26 weeks of parental leave to eligible employees, with the goal of reinforcing the freedom and flexibility of Differential.
The purpose of this policy is to give parents the needed flexibility and time to bond with their new child and adjust to their new family situation. At Differential, we believe in family over work and know that flexibility and family-friendly policies are essential to cultivating an atmosphere where employees can thrive professionally with relatively minimum sacrifice to family life.
Full-time employees of Differential who have been employed at least six months. The employee must meet one of the following criteria:
- Have given birth to a child
- Are a spouse or committed partner of a woman who has given birth to a child (inclusive of children born to surrogate mothers)
- Have adopted a child who is 17 years old or younger (does not apply to the adoption of a stepchild by a stepparent)
- Have become a foster parent to a child who is 17 years old or younger
Amount and Provisions
Eligible employees may take up to 26 weeks of parental leave in total. For women who have given birth, the first six weeks will be compensated at 100 percent of the employee's regular pay with an additional 20 weeks available, unpaid (it should also be noted that we have a private, locked area for lactation / pumping purposes – please contact HR for assistance). For everyone else, the first three weeks will be compensated at 100% of the employee's salary with an additional 23 weeks available, unpaid.
If the employee is enrolled in the ZaneHealth plan, the benefits will remain the same while an employee is on parental leave. If the employee is contributing to a 401k through Guideline, the contribution amount while on parental leave is up to the employee's discretion.
All parental leave described in this policy is available for a 12-month period following the birth, adoption or placement of a foster child.
Multiple births, complications, adoptions or foster placements and anything else not mentioned here do not automatically increase the length of parental leave, but if there is a need/issue, let's talk – chances are we'll be glad to work with you. If an employee leaves Differential, they are not eligible for payment of unused parental leave. Parental leave can not be used for purposes other than those described in this policy.
Differential provides 80 hours per year of paid time off for sick days/mental health days. Stay home and focus on getting better when you are not feeling well. We do not require a doctor's note. However, if you are seriously sick, your first priority is to get better. If you require extended sick leave, please talk to HR about how Di can help.
Every person and every situation is different and we are happy to talk it out and find the right time off that works for you.
Time off for victims of intimate partner violence/gender-based violence
We support time off to meet with law enforcement, move away from an abuser, and/or arrange for other potentially life-saving services.
Jury Duty and Court Cases
It's your civic duty and Differential will compensate you at your normal salary.
We'll keep your job for you as required by USERRA. Visit https://www.dol.gov/agencies/vets/programs/userra for more information.
Flex Reimbursement Policy
The goal of this policy is to reinforce the freedom and flexibility of Differential for its employees, encourage education and training, provide resources for a health and wellness program, and keep everyone's tools up to date.
After an all-team meeting in Cincinnati (Di Week 2015), one common answer and theme to the question "What does the last company you ever would work for look like?" was the concept of freedom and flexibility (including benefits).
Full-time employees of Differential. Interns/Apprentices are not eligible except as noted below.
$1,000 for every year of service (with a maximum of $3,000) per employee per year. The account resets on January 1st each year. A new employee who starts January 1st or later will be granted that stipend immediately ($1,000 as people need items when they start). Apprentices can be reimbursed up to $200 strictly for parking / transportation.
MacBook Pro Booster Stipend
We recognize that a good computer is essential to our work. So every 3 years from the previous date of purchase, you can boost your Flex Reimbursement Stipend by $1,500 to purchase a new MacBook Pro with the new Apple Silicon chip. We want to encourage all developers and designers to max out your processor, because many of our projects are iOS apps (or tvOS), and those are much easier to run on native Apple hardware. Not to mention the new chips even improve Android build times. The purchase of a new MacBook Pro must also be paired with Apple Care to be eligible for reimbursement.
*If the employee leaves or is terminated, the employee will be required to reimburse the company for the most recent year of flex reimbursements.
Android Device Policy
If you're a developer working on a React Native product, you may need to have access to a physical Android testing device. You can request one by contacting HR and one will be provided to you. There’s no need to use your Flex Reimbursement Stipend for an Android Test Device.
- New MacBook Pro (Differential does not provide a company computer to new hires but new hires can use their Flex Reimbursement to supplement the price of one)
- Red Bike membership (http://www.cincyredbike.org/)
- Bus tickets
- Second monitor
- Standing desk
- Computer accessories (mouse, keyboard, phone charger, computer stand, etc.)
- Co-Working Space
- Educational Tech conferences (SXSW, Config (Figma’s Conference), CodeMash, etc)
- Online classes / tutorials (egghead.io, teamtreehouse.com, codeschool.com, etc)
- Software (Adobe CC, etc)
How to Get Reimbursed
You must use Rippling. Receipts must be added and the expenses must be categorized for proper accounting.
Differential Company Events
Differential hosts various company events each year, such as Di Week, our annual all company get together. These company events allow us time to connect as a team, do company wide retro’s and so much more. These weeks are truly the best, because we have the best teammates! Differential will pay travel and lodging expenses for these company sponsored events, including transportation to/from the airport and hotel. Meals are covered under a per diem amount dependent on the location of the event. Reach out to HR if there are any questions.
Cincinnati Travel Stipend
As a remote first company, we recognize the desire to connect with our teammates beyond the computer screen. Our Cincinnati Travel Stipend will allow you to come visit HQ each year, outside of the planned Differential Company Events. Differential will pay for travel and lodging expenses, including transportation to/from the airport and hotel. Meals will be covered under a per diem amount. We encourage you to coordinate your trip with others on the team. Reach out to HR to book your trip to Cincinnati, we can’t wait to see you in the office!
Co-working Space Stipend
One of the challenges of working remotely is a feeling of disconnect from other people and professionals (not to mention feeling cooped up!). Because of this, Differential offers full time remote employees up to $2,500 per year (in addition to the Flex Reimbursement Policy) to help cover co-working space membership costs and fees. Just as with the Flex Reimbursement Policy, you must use Rippling to get reimbursed.
Now the fun stuff! Everyone is paid semi-monthly via Rippling. We pay via direct deposit.
We look at competitive rates from the Cincinnati area, and target to be in the top quartile of pay.
Career Growth At Differential
Our compensation is simple but powerful. While you may be able to make more money working somewhere else, we are willing to make sacrifices in pay in exchange for the freedom and flexibility we currently enjoy.
A Value Based System
It's extremely important that we have a fair and transparent system to empower employees and ensure that they aren't being taken advantage of. No intense salary negotiations are accepted. Instead, we offer competitive salaries at every level of employment.
When hiring, the level a person starts at is based on their experience and responsibilities. In the circumstance where we've made a mistake on an entry level, we will quickly change the level to match the employee's skill level. Each employee of Differential may be designated as either exempt or non-exempt based on federal and / or state wage and hour regulations.
We value long-term employment and strive to be a place where people with a passion for building digital products can grow and sustain their career. We have an Alliance Framework to support you in your Career Path. Everyone has a Work Coach and an Alliance Coach who are your advocates and help you grow through regular 1-on-1 meetings. In the spirit of our coaching culture, your Work Coach will provide guidance on your day-to-day work, while your Alliance Coach will provide insight on your career growth at Differential more broadly.
We base our levels on the midwest pay scale, specifically focusing in Cincinnati. We evaluate the levels every year based on compensation (using pay scale or equivalent) and then we adjust our pay to be in the top 25% of salaries in the Cincinnati Area. We also use the CPI (consumer price index) to evaluate the rates of inflation on cost of living. If a trend is prevalent, we will adjust levels to keep pace with inflation. We may choose to lag a quarter or two behind so that we don't ever adjust salaries lower.
We use titles to encapsulate peer groups and provide a high-level career progression blueprint – a Career Path. These career progression blueprints are meant to provide clarity and context for Alliance conversations. Most people start off in either the Designer Career Path or Developer Career Path. The levels in each Career Path are the pay scales as you progress throughout the company. The important thing to note is that we evaluate based on "proven ability" and "proven experience," meaning that you should be performing and doing the work of the level above where you currently are, and be capable of reaching the level above that before a promotion would take place. At the end of every year, we do a company wide evaluation using three criteria: 1) Core Values. 2) Experience. 3) Responsibilities. That means you don't have to ask for a raise or promotion – Everyone is evaluated at the same time, using the same criteria. Our compensation framework is designed to align career growth with compensation growth.
401K - Guideline
A 401(k) plan lets you contribute money, pre-tax or post-tax, to a retirement plan. These assets can accumulate tax-deferred until withdrawn during retirement, and are limited by the IRS to a maximum pre-tax annual contribution of $18,500 if you are less than 50 years of age.
Our selected provider has the lowest fees in the industry (0.03% participant fee) with average fund expenses around (0.10%).
There are also three socially responsible investing (SRI) funds available to select in our plan.
Did you know that only 12% of small businesses have a retirement plan. Isn't that crazy?! So please take this opportunity to invest in yourself!
How It Works
You are automatically enrolled when you are hired. 4% of your salary will be put into the retirement plan unless you opt out.
Differential offers a 100% match on your first 3% of contribution and a 50% match on your next 2% of contribution. For example, if you contribute 5% of your salary, Differential will contribute an additional 4%. You are immediately vested.
Learn more at Guideline.com.
Differential offers up to 100% employer sponsored health insurance through Aetna. Employees will have the option to make elections once a year during our open enrollment period, or if there is a special enrollment period for Qualifying Life Events. Differential offers a 100% employer sponsored life insurance plan. We also offer voluntary plans for Dental and Vision. If you have any questions regarding insurance or benefits, please reach out to HR.
Contractors at Differential
Contractors of Differential are not eligible for employee benefits.
Other Compensation Information
Differential provides insurance to compensate for any illness or injury an employee might suffer while working on company premises, traveling on official company business, or attending an activity officially sponsored by the company.
Visit https://www.dol.gov/general/topic/workcomp for more information.
The law provides unemployment compensation benefits to protect workers from economic hardship due to a loss of employment. An employee may be eligible for unemployment compensation if they were terminated for reasons other than misconduct, as defined by state law.
Visit https://www.dol.gov/general/topic/unemployment-insurance and https://oui.doleta.gov/unemploy/uifactsheet.asp for more information.
By court order, a creditor may force the company to withhold wages and turn them over to the court. We will make every effort to confidentially assist the employee through this process. Employees are expected to cooperate with the company fully during garnishment.
Child Support Reporting Requirements
If the state determines that you owe child support, it will send Differential an order requiring us to withhold money from your paycheck to pay your child support obligations. We are required to comply with such orders as a matter of federal and state law.
Employment at Will
Your employment is on an at-will basis, meaning that either of us may end the employment relationship at any time, with or without cause and with or without notice.