Younger: A Pandemic Yr| Staff Compensation Information

By Julius Young

Thursday, March 18, 2021 | 148 | 0 | min read

We have been in the pandemic for a year now.

Julius Young

It was a time of stress and challenges and they are not over yet. The chaos was medical, financial, cultural, spiritual, and educational. Members of some working class and ethnic / racial groups are particularly hard hit.

California workers and the worker comp community are still responding to the challenge, and many of the effects will continue. How the future normal will be compared to the old normal is still unclear. It may not be fair, but some workers and workplaces have the luxury of being better able to adapt to new ways of doing business.

I want to share a company-wide email that our managing partner at Boxer & Gerson, Justin Litvak, sent to our lawyers and staff. Justin’s comments speak of both the challenges of running a law firm on the applicant side during the pandemic and the resilience strategies that were required:

I didn’t sleep a year ago. You can recognize this by the time stamp in the following email. Please take a second to read the following email I sent the lawyers to see where we were a year ago today and how far we have come. To say I am concerned would be a serious underestimation.

A year ago today, we weren’t flexible. We needed an office. We needed courtrooms. We needed phones. We had to meet with customers. We needed a dictation. We had to meet with the staff.

A year ago today, I had just sent the paralegal home. We first told the paralegal to stop working. Then we went to four hours and then to eight hours. We did all of this in an hour and we weren’t even sure the company would be able to generate income to pay people.

We told the secretaries to stop working. We didn’t have a plan. No secretary had ever worked from home.

I closed the lawyers’ door and asked them to stay home. We had no idea what would happen to hearings, statements, etc.

We hoped we would find employees to come into the office. We didn’t know if we would have any mail. We had only just started scanning email and we certainly hadn’t done this for the entire office. We thought the police might show up and shut us down if we had people in the office.

We didn’t even know what to do with the calendar. We shut it down without knowing what was going to happen.

I’m not trying to give PTSD to everyone this morning. Instead, I want to say thank you. I want you all to pat yourself on the back. A year later we have become flexible. You have all helped make work from home a reality. Lawyers have figured out how to stay productive without seeing clients in person. Lawyers are currently passing court cases through video platforms. We have new personnel models. We have new partners. We have new leaders. We have a new brand. We will soon have new employees. We have new technology. New duties, new ways of thinking, new responsibilities.

It’s all because of you Thank you for helping move this company forward. I don’t know what the next year will bring, but I am more confident than ever that we have a group that will not only help us survive but will also help us thrive. I am forever indebted to each of you. Thank you.

Justin’s words will apply to many.

Most readers have their own stories about how they or their organizations dealt with the challenges of the pandemic. Regardless of the particular challenges and coping skills you have found, you are not alone.

Julius Young is an attorney for candidates and an associate at Boxer & Gerson law firm of Oakland. This column was reprinted from his Workers Comp Zone blog on the company’s website with his permission.

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