Pay Cuts, Layoffs, and More: How Law Firms Are Managing the Pandemic

About 8% of staff will be furloughed “ to adjust for workflows that have been disrupted or diminished due to reduced demand,” and a small number of staff will see their schedules reduced. These staff will continue to receive benefits from the firm.

The firm is shortening its summer associate program to six weeks and conducting it remotely, and has not yet decided whether to change the start date for first-year associates this fall.

Additionally, the firm is starting a partner-funded “employee fund to provide monetary relief to staff members who suffer financial hardship as a result of the pandemic” to help them with household expenses. And it created a vacation bank, where employees may donate unused vacation time for others who need it to attend to medical emergencies or family care.

Day Pitney

In an April 8 statement, managing partner Tom Goldberg said the firm cut pay by 15% for all attorneys and some staff and for other staff has temporarily reduced to 60% normal working hours and pay during the remote working period. The firm also made “significant reductions to partner draws” and suspended a scheduled April supplemental distribution. Goldberg said the firm implemented the measures “to maintain our financial stability during this time while continuing to effectively serve our clients.”

Dentons

Compensation reductions, which will go into effect on May 1, will apply to all partners, attorneys and staff earning at least $60,000. Partners will bear the brunt of the impact, with cuts starting at 20% and extending “much higher” for the firm’s most highly compensated partners. For employees, including associates and counsel, as well as other timekeepers and business services staff, cuts will be progressive, starting at 0% for those earning under $60,000 and hitting 20% for those earning over $190,000. Individual high performers, whether lawyers, professionals or business services staff, will be eligible to recover some or all of these cuts as bonuses depending on the firm’s 2020 performance. A total of 41 business services staff, many of who are unable to perform their jobs remotely, will be furloughed starting May 1 for 90 days. The firm said it will pay all health care premiums, including the employee portion, for this interval.

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