{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "My firm was one of the firms that gave covid bonuses but did not specify whether everyone was getting it. I didn’t make my hours this year because I was on maternity leave and a bunch of my cases ended 1-2 months before I went out so I had lower hours before I started my leave. I couldn’t make up for those lost hours when I was back since I was working from home with an infant because of covid. I didn’t get the covid bonus, which in my mind is ironic considering the circumstances. (Cont.)", "post_id": "6001b6a1f5135c0022448a74", "reply_count": 16, "vote_count": 4, "bowl_id": "5da60c126e5f0d001f32f497", "bowl_name": "Women in Law" }

My firm was one of the firms that gave covid bonuses but did not specify whether everyone was getting it. I didn’t make my hours this year because I was on maternity leave and a bunch of my cases ended 1-2 months before I went out so I had lower hours before I started my leave. I couldn’t make up for those lost hours when I was back since I was working from home with an infant because of covid. I didn’t get the covid bonus, which in my mind is ironic considering the circumstances. (Cont.)

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All this to ask—should I take this as a message from the firm? I feel like if they actually valued me all this would have been taken into consideration. I only had good reviews so far (excellent before I got pregnant), so I’m a little concerned and surprised. 5th year.

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This is cute. You think firms value people. They do not. They pay lip service to the idea of it just enough to keep you on the "Belonging" rung of the hierarchy of needs, and no more.

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Unfortunately a lot of firms (mine included) don’t flex on bonuses when they’re hours based — you either get it or you don’t, even if you were only a few hours short of the target. It feels very harsh, but I know this is just how they do it. Your situation sounds particularly tough (& frustrating!). Do you know if your firm usually has a strict cutoff like this when it comes to bonuses? If so, I think it probably is just the firm’s standard practice and not a personal reflection — albeit a very frustrating practice...

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The COVID bonus was because a lot of associates billed way more than normal times, which was more stressful considering the pandemic and everything going around us. If you didn’t bill the hours (for whatever reason), I don’t see why you’re expecting a COVID bonus. It wasn’t a retention bonus. It’s literally “you worked extremely long hours in this crazy pandemic and we made a ton more money because of you, so here’s a little something extra”.

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Yep, exactly this. (Coming from someone whose billable hours were ~140-150% for the entirety of 2020)

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All I read here is that we still need to do a lot of work to support our women. OP, I’m sorry you’re dealing with this. I agree that it’s sad that you worked from home with an infant due to COVID (which is a huge hurdle to overcome) and you’re excluded from the bonus. If you are more senior and your prorated hours weren’t off by a lot (50 or less), I’d try to advocate for yourself with people who are more influential in the firm. I do think there’s an issue with law firms that indirectly penalize working mums and you should go elsewhere if you are not happy. Just do your research ahead of time to make sure you’re not jumping into something worse.

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Was your hour requirement prorated to account for your leave?

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Good luck. I asked the irony question because I wasn’t sure if I was missing something with the original query. I’m in the exact same boat and it’s been killer. Lots of working at 4am mornings and working in the dark while my baby naps because we don’t have the room for a true home office so his nursery is mine. It is hard but you’ll get through it.

Is there anyone you feel comfortable talking to about it?

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