Lawyers paid $80,000 to stay home

The law firm doesn't mind what employees do as long as they're not at work

By Melissa Kluger

On Monday April 13th, 2009

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Would you accept $80,000 not to work? This is the dilemma lawyers at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom have recently been faced with. The firm doesn’t want to lay people off, but has too many salaries to pay in these slow times. The solution? Offer associates 1/3 of their base salary for a year away from the firm. They can do pro bono work, travel the world, or stay home and play Xbox. The firm doesn’t care, as long as they don’t show up at work.

The firm has 1,300 associates worldwide and so far 125 have expressed interest in the pay-me-$80,000-for-not-working option.