Yesterday, we reported that Dorsey & Whitney laid off 55 staffers. Despite the staff layoffs, we mentioned that Dorsey had generally avoided the worst aspects of the economic recession.
Well, “not so fast my friends.” After our report went up, associates at Dorsey & Whitney flooded the ATL inbox with news of a ten percent associate salary cut. The first tip overestimated my mind reading ability:
You probably already have this by now, but Dorsey implemented a 10% across the board pay cut for associates.
Another tipster reported that full time associates aren’t the only people that will be taking a pay cut:
… also cut all associate salaries by 10% and are asking contract lawyers to agree to a similar cut.
We understand that associates learned of the salary cuts via an internal video available on Dorsey’s intranet. We don’t have the video, but we do have some additional details after the jump.
The video presentation was made by Dorsey & Whitney’s managing partner, Marianne Short. Various people have described the video as “confusing.”
Part of the confusion might be that the Dorsey partnership was caught off guard by the layoffs and the salary cuts. Tipsters report that many partners found out about the cuts on the day they were announced to the firm at large.
Not surprisingly, the decision was driven by firm economics. Our sources report:
Management got May’s figures last night, and apparently, the situation was quite dire. The prognostications for the future months also did not hold to budget and they decided something relatively drastic needed to be done.
You never like to see decisions made at the point of an economic gun. Because when people make snap decisions under enormous pressure, reasoning can get muddled. According to a tipster:
The associate salary cuts were made across the board because management deemed it too difficult to do it on a case by case basis. This was the decision notwithstanding that fact that many many associates are on pace to meet and greatly exceed the hours requirement and that the 10% pay cut is on top of the already large pay cut due to the salary freeze.
Faced with these unstable circumstances, Dorsey & Whitney associates are looking for someone to blame — or at least someone to put into a wood chipper:
Walter Mondale has long remained on the payroll at Dorsey and Whitney. See if he still is there.
Walter Mondale, 42nd Vice-President of the United States, is still listed on the firm website, but we don’t know if the firm actually pays him anything. But maybe Mondale can come up with a new firm motto? To paraphrase his acceptance speech at the 1984 Democratic convention:
“Peer firms will cut your salary, and so will Dorsey & Whitney.
Earlier: Staff Layoff Watch: Dorsey & Whitney Shows 55 Employees the Door