Life in the valley…

images6.jpegLife in Silicon Valley can be stressful, what with all that traffic, not to mention expensive. Good thing that chip maker LSI (LSI), which used to be known as LSI Logic, has a new commuter policy for its employees. The policy, which the company disclosed in this filing late yesterday, but which appears to date back to February 1, allows employees and executives to live over 100 miles away, commute to LSI, and get reimbursed for their plane and other travel expenses, including parking their primary car at the their local airport.

Now some people might argue that this is a well-designed perk, given how expensive it is to live in Silicon Valley. Instead of offering higher salaries to offset the high cost of housing, allow employees to live somewhere cheaper and reimburse employees for getting to work. You can even think of it as TransitChek, except of a grander scale.

But the list of reimbursable items, which the filing notes includes “round trip or one way flights to and from their home city to the LSI office, car rental at the LSI site, airport parking expenses at the commuter’s home location, taxi cab fees to or from the Commuter’s home to the airport or to/from the LSI office to the airport, hotel expenses at the LSI location, and personal meals at the LSI location.” seems a bit extensive.

Not to mention that while the policy says that it is open to all employees — one reason for Tuesday’s filing was to correct the fact that the company’s top executives couldn’t participate — it’s hard to imagine anyone but the top executives from being able to afford to live in one place and work in another.