Announcing Salary Cuts The Friday Afternoon Before A 3 Day Weekend Leads To Some ANGRY Associates

Salary cuts are always shitty. I mean, hopefully, they spare folks’ jobs but they are never fun to deal with. And they’re extra annoying when announced the Friday afternoon before a three day weekend. But I guess COVID-19 doesn’t take a break for the holiday, so neither do austerity measures. And that’s exactly what happened at Troutman Sanders — no wonder we’ve gotten so many angry emails.

So, what’s going on at the firm? 20 percent pay cuts for associates and even more for partners. As a tipster explains:

We just learned that equity partners are receiving an annualized 18.5% pay cut, non-equity partners are receiving a 14% cut, and associates are receiving an 11.7% cut, but this equates into a minimum 30%, 25% and 20% cut, respectively, per paycheck going forward from June 1 through end of year.

Which considering their soon-to-be merger partner, Pepper Hamilton, has already made similar cuts, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. (Yes, the merger is still a go for July 1.) But that doesn’t mean folks at the firm aren’t pissed. Here’s a sampling of some of the reactions we’ve received about the pay cuts:

This is across the board, taking no consideration of whether a group is busy or not. I’m extremely upset as an associate in a group that has not slowed down, but is just as busy or busier than before— yet I’m expected to work that amount above expectations at 20% less pay? We keep being told our firm is healthy financially and better suited to weather the storm than others, yet we just got a cut that’s at the very top end of what other firms are doing. There is no insight into how they will compensate us for that, but we already know the Troutman bonus structure is already a total joke, so I’m not expecting that the right thing will be done then either and I’ll likely be making a move. Oh, and we are still merging with Pepper Hamilton in July 1…

TL;DR: everyone is pissed and management needs to take a course on how to deliver bad news to people.

Everyone is livid.

[T]he salary cuts are needed to subsidize and fund the Pepper merger which is what has everyone up in arms. Enough to where management has scheduled a follow up QA session next Wednesday. Leadership is so enthralled with becoming an AMLAW 50 firm that it’s making some very poor decisions. Why not just push the merger to January 1 at the very least

We reached out to the firm for comment, but have yet to hear back.

If your firm or organization is slashing salaries, closing its doors, or reducing the ranks of its lawyers or staff, whether through open layoffs, stealth layoffs, or voluntary buyouts, please don’t hesitate to let us know. Our vast network of tipsters is part of what makes Above the Law thrive. You can email us or text us (646-820-8477).

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headshotKathryn Rubino is a Senior Editor at Above the Law, and host of The Jabot podcast. AtL tipsters are the best, so please connect with her. Feel free to email her with any tips, questions, or comments and follow her on Twitter (@Kathryn1).

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