Associates: Suppose your are working from home, haven’t gotten any cut to your Cravath scale pay, and your firm has committed not to lay off any associates or staff. Is there any world in which you would ask your firm to pay your home utility bill because that’s where you’re working?

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Theoretically - if it’s something that partners write off as a business expense for tax purposes while WFH, associates should get reimbursed for it. Partners writing off ink expenses or internet as a part of a home office? Completely reasonable for the associates to be able to expect the same (in the form of a partial subsidy). That said - I would not ask for a subsidy right now. Partners are stressed about work flow and revenues, and have taken pay cuts almost across the board. It might be “fair” to ask for the subsidy, but it’s a little tone deaf (and I would mostly be worried that it would reflect poorly on my ability to “read the room” so to speak).

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Here in CA it’s likely a necessary business expense subject to reimbursement. I’m in the Wage and hour/EPL group and we aren’t getting these reimbursements/stipends even though we are advising clients to reimburse their employees for same. 🤔

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Lol WHAT. (“No,” to answer your question.)

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Opposite. I would take a 50% pay cut to stay WFH indefinitely. I don’t want to sweat my ass off on the subway every day while getting yelled at/spat on by NY crazies ever again, covid or no covid.

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Not having to be around other lawyers is worth its weight in gold.

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There might be some world out there that would smile upon this, but it ain’t ours.

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Utilities, huh. Pretty bold ask.

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Yah. And tone deaf, especially when partners and counsel (who pay their own utilities) have absorbed a pay cut of between 35% and 50% to enable the firm to avoid any layoffs and continue paying associates and staff at 100%. Our normally calm chairman lost his shit when the topic of utility subsidies came up.

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I think stipends should go up. I'm using my monitor, my printer, my phone, etc. etc.

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Since you asked, more than one. I want names and the addresses where I can send whatever they left in their offices in March. That said the printing subsidy is an entirely fair ask. Otherwise, on the facts stated in my post, not so much.

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They can keep their subsidy if they restore my 20% pay cut. Currently at 108% through July. Same hours, less pay. Not in restructuring/bankruptcy.

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My salary was cut, but I don't have any expectations that my firm should foot my utility bills. However, it's not an unreasonable request. My A/C now runs pretty close to 24/7 which dramatically increases my power bill. I'm also consuming large amounts of expensive ink. I believe firms should provide some type of subsidy that offsets these expenses, especially for those of us who are incurring them on top of a pay cut.

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No. But a small internet subsidy would be nice.

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Depending on what state you are in, you should be getting a WFH subsidy. CA labor laws are clear that mobile phone bills should be subsidized if the phone is used for work, for instance. And yes, expense ink!

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I'm not asking them for anything, but I'm sneaking in the office tomorrow while I'm in town to get my keyboard and I'm not telling anyone.

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I’m seeing more of a bailment relationship.

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Nope!

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Goodness, no.

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No; only my electric bill has increased and it’s still less than the cost of commuting. Besides, I love the quality family time of work from home.

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Do as I say, didn’t do as we do ... Obviously if the law requires reimbursement the firm should do it. I didn’t know about that Cali law. As far as you know do any other states impose similar requirements?

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I stand corrected, although the first person I ever heard call it that name I can’t say anymore is my brother, who went to college there and adopted the shorthand while living there. That said, is California the only state with that sort of a requirement, as far as you know?

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Firms never have a problem asking for handouts. So yup Workers shouldn’t subsidize 💩

Law firms *should* be paying for that but I can’t see a world in which they would. And it should be tax deductible if you’re working from home.

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