Saturday Becomes Caturday at Goldman Sachs

Moneybox
A blog about business and economics.
Nov. 6 2013 5:42 PM

Saturday Becomes Caturday at Goldman Sachs

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Relax, everybody, it's Caturday at Goldman Sachs.

Photo by YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images

Matthew Yglesias is on vacation.

Junior bankers at Goldman Sachs just got some good news. According to Dealbreaker, a new rule says that “[a]ll analysts and associates are required to be out of the office from 9 p.m. on Friday until 9 a.m. on Sunday,” beginning this weekend.

The finance world—especially in New York City—isn’t known for short workweeks. Goldman Sachs' new rule reflects that rather stunningly. Analysts and associates must be out not by close of business, but midevening, on Fridays. And ... they can come back on Sunday. To a cynic, it may appear as a perverse endorsement of a six-day workweek.

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Oh, and exceptions are allowed.

But really, if the rule withstands time, it looks promising, and I’d encourage you to read the whole announcement before judging. Since a lot of the problematic requests from employers come from immediate supervisors, rather than a corporate policy or mandate, the most reassuring parts are the two following items: “Exceptions will not be the norm and should be used sparingly.” “Exceptions will be tracked and reported to Exec Comm on a quarterly basis.”

That’s code for: We’ll know if you’re abusing your juniors.

So it appears junior Goldman Sachs employees will be able to rely on at least one day a week off to post pictures of cats to message boards or whatever they choose to do with it. As anyone with friends in the finance industry knows, that’s nothing to scoff at.

Sean Vitka holds a J.D. from Boston College Law School. He was a legal fellow at the Open Technology Institute and a Google Policy Fellow at Georgetown Law.

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