Perks / Fringe Benefits

Reversed Perk Watch: Soda Subsidy Slashed at Foley & Lardner

Foley Lardner LLP logo Above the Law blog.jpgFirst they came for the Kleenex. Then they came for the coffee.
All around the country, law firms large and small are cutting costs by revoking perks. Today we heard from an unhappy camper — perhaps deprived of their customary caffeine? — at Foley & Lardner:

I can handle them taking away the Christmas party and giving us a 10% pay cut. But ratcheting up the cost of my soda by 150% is where I draw the line!

From an internal memo that went around this morning:

Vending machine prices – It has been several years since we last changed the price of beverages in the vending machines, yet our costs have increased steadily over those years. In order to bring the prices we charge in line with current costs, the price for soda and water will increase to $.75 and the price for juice will increase to $1.00. The new prices are still well below those found in public vending machines or stores, but will reduce or eliminate the need for the office to subsidize these items.

Frankly, we’re a bit puzzled. Isn’t it in Foley’s business interest to have well-caffeinated associates? Could the associates deprived of discounted Dr. Pepper have a Good Samaritan claim — oh, never mind….
The full memo — apparently there’s no such thing as a free lunch, at least at Foley & Lardner — after the jump.


FOLEY & LARDNER — MEMORANDUM — EXPENSE CONTROL MEASURES
In an effort to further control or reduce office expenses, the following changes are being implemented:
1. Vending machine prices – It has been several years since we last changed the price of beverages in the vending machines, yet our costs have increased steadily over those years. In order to bring the prices we charge in line with current costs, the price for soda and water will increase to $.75 and the price for juice will increase to $1.00. The new prices are still well below those found in public vending machines or stores, but will reduce or eliminate the need for the office to subsidize these items.
2. Attorney Luncheons – The full cost of the informal Friday attorney luncheons has also risen steadily, yet the attorney contribution has not changed since the inception of this program more than 5 years ago. Effective tomorrow, the attorney contribution will increase from $5.00 to $10.00. At this price, the office will still be subsidizing a significant portion of the actual cost of the food and we hope attorneys will continue to participate in these luncheons.
3. Overtime Meals – Effective Monday, the SeamlessWeb (formerly Osmio) meal ordering and delivery service will be terminated. The fees and ancillary costs associated with this program have simply become too costly. Overtime and weekend meals will continue to be reimbursed by the firm, but at the rates originally established prior to the Osmio/SeamlessWeb program – $10.00 for lunch and $20.00 for dinner. It will be necessary for you to order and pay for food on your own, and submit a request for reimbursement via an Expense Reimbursement Form (ERF) with receipts. The $10.00 and $20.00 limits.are inclusive of gratuities and delivery charges. Therefore, expenses beyond these limits will not be reimbursed.
Thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation.

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