dave zomb

"It's great in our Covid-secure environment!"

Jones Day has hushed up a Covid outbreak at its London office, it has been alleged.

The US firm "pressured lawyers to come back to office" and "has now had an outbreak", a source told RollOnFriday.

The positive cases are understood to have sprung up in the corporate and restructuring teams, which have been sent home. But, in a Trump-like move, Jones Day "didn’t tell anyone in the office" about the outbreak except for those who were in direct contact with the infected individuals, said a source.

It means that staff "are blissfully unaware and still coming in, despite lawyers in corporate and restructuring being tested and/or sent home", said the source.

Jones Day did not respond to requests for comment.

Last month RollOnFriday revealed how Squire Patton Boggs was compelled to evacuate its Manchester office following two separate outbreaks. While some staff are delighted to get out of the house and into the office, other lawyers have complained that firms are placing them under undue pressure to start commuting again. Business services staff have levelled the same accusation.

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Anonymous 09 October 20 11:52

My leading firm has a similar policy of only telling those in contact with someone infected and leaving others blissfully unaware....no doubt so they still want to come into the office. 

Anonymous 09 October 20 12:33

If you are not in contact with an infected person, why would you be told? That's the very basis of Track and Trace. 

The chances of having an infected person in the office are probably very similar to the pub, supermarket or restaurant.

Anon 09 October 20 12:46

Christ, all firms are at that behaviour. We’ve got one sad twat of a partner who shambles in every day who doesn’t give a shit whether they’re spreading the virus or not. It’s all about presenteeism whether there are billables to be had or not.

Anonymous 09 October 20 13:04

.... except an employer owes a duty of care to keep you safe in your work place. And a decent human being in what is a difficult time would make reasonable disclosure of the risks of being in the office, or the risk that someone within 3ft of an infected person who then was within 3ft of you might have infected you and you should go for a test if concerned.......  

Anonymous 09 October 20 14:29

Scuttlebutt tells me the sleeping pod on the top floor of Tudor Street has been used recently for non-socially distanced activities. Not by me, unfortunately.

BTW - looking into the back end of Freshfields - it's like a ghost town...

Fake Partner 09 October 20 14:48

When your law firm is run by a 70 year old dictator like my firm is, this kind of thing will happen. He ordered us all back in June, split into teams. I know for a fact that virtually every large and mid-sized firm in my city is working remotely until next year. Meanwhile, we have had two employees report testing positive for Covid-19, and they have been in the office two to three days a week. Meanwhile our great dictator walks around the office without even wearing a mask, which is against state and company policy. Hopefully he will kick the bucket soon. 

Anonymous 09 October 20 20:24

There's a partner who goes into the office every day as well at my firm. I don't think he knows that we've spotted the 2-3 hour "lunches" and twigged that he is sleeping with the (married) female senior associate in his team. She only goes in twice a week and it would probably be a bit obvious if he was there only on the days she goes in...

Anonymous 09 October 20 21:19

Anonymous @ 09 October 20 12:33

The chances of having an infected person in the office are probably very similar to the pub, supermarket or restaurant.

In that case you are in trouble according to the statistics presented here: https://www.bbc.com/news/health-54477618




Anon 12 October 20 21:35

This is pretty common place behaviour at all law firms. We get zero notifications about new cases in our local offices unless we have been in close contact with an individual who tests positive for covid. We only got told about the first two cases. And that was because a public report had to be made to PHE.

anon 14 October 20 14:30

The chances of having an infected person in the office are probably very similar to the pub, supermarket or restaurant.

Misses the point.  As an employee you are compelled or put under pressure to attend your office and an employer’s duty of care flows from this.  Totally distinct from the relative freedom of choice to go to the pub or shops - you can pick your time, different venues or indeed not to go at all.  

Anon 15 October 20 13:30

But most staff are at very low health risk and those with special vulnerabilities will typically be working from home anyway. So why does everyone need to know if it does not directly affect them and they are at very low risk anyway?  

Anon 16 October 20 10:16

We had a senior partner attending the office awaiting the outcome of their test.

Did I mention we've all been back in the office since September? 

Dear Anon 16 October 20 12:22

Very insightful, you are eligible to work at Jones Day if not already. The non-vulnerable lawyer may have vulnerable friends or family members who he/she will be in contact with outside the office. I know this is somewhat of a out of the box possibility that you may not have considered, but please do take your time to think it through.  

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