COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS
One of our firm’s Business Goals is to provide “good income for team members by compensating fairly and well.” We believe team members must be acknowledged for their contribution to team success. We are not a “lock-step” firm where seniority trumps contribution, and we seek to reflect that in our compensation of team members.
If you’re interested in becoming part of a truly collaborative team consistent with our Mission, Core Values, Business Goals, and Promises to Each Other, then your journey begins here. Please visit the Gerber Ciano Career Portal or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PAID TIME OFF
Lawyer’s vacation is unlimited as long as he/she follows the firm’s Business Goals and Promises to Each Other. Eligible remaining full-time team employees begin accruing paid time off after their first full month and receive 3 weeks paid time off after a first full year of employment. Flexibility for personal time is also provided to non-lawyer team members in accordance with firm policy, work environment and schedule (i.e. office, flexible scheduling, telecommuting, full-time, part-time, flex-time). Team members may accrue paid time off in accordance with the firm’s current policy.
Provided to all full-time eligible team members at firm expense — guaranteed issue. Additional optional coverage available for purchase by the team member for himself/herself, spouse/domestic partner, and dependents – guaranteed issue.
The firm provides on-line resources for lawyers to achieve their minimum CLE requirements. However, we consider it vital that lawyers refine and develop skills ensure client service. We invest in our team by having members attend specialized in-person CLE from basic skills to participation in trial academies.
Both short-term and long-term disability insurance is provided by the firm to eligible full-time team members pursuant to the terms and conditions of coverage. The firm provides “own occupation” disability insurance, which is broader than “any occupation” insurance. In addition, the firm provides a benefit of tax free disability benefits. When an employer pays for disability insurance, the benefits are generally taxable. However, if the employer provides a “tax option” policy, then employees are able to pay a small amount of tax on premiums paid by the employer. If ever they are disabled, then benefits are tax free. Gerber Ciano Kelly Brady LLP offers the “tax option” as a default for its team members. This option can be changed each year, and is particularly beneficial in years where there is a planned maternity leave.
The firm reimburses lawyers for annual registration dues for any jurisdiction in which they are admitted. The firm reimburses each lawyer for the State and Local Bar Association for the State and locality in which they reside, so long as there is meaningful participation. If the lawyer chooses, he or she may allocate this to an equivalent organization such as a local defense organization. The firm reimburses membership in at least one additional organization aligned with the firm’s Mission Statement, Core Values, Business Goals, and Promises to Other, so long as there is meaningful participation. The firm reimburses additional organizations approved by management.
Staff and lawyers are eligible to participate in the firm’s 401(k) plan.
16 weeks of paid leave for team members who have been full-time employees for at least twelve months and who are the primary caregiver for a newborn or newly adopted child. This leave does not have to take place immediately, which allows flexibility for staggered leave at any time within six months after a child joins the family. A reduced-hours schedule is also available for six months following maternity leave. In addition, the non-primary caregiver spouse is provided 5 days paid leave within the first 12 months of the child joining the family.
In addition to statutory requirements, we provide paid leave of up to 10 days for team members who have been full-time employees for at least twelve months and who are the primary caregiver for a child, life partner or parent afflicted with a serious illness or injury. Our policy provides for flexibility to stagger leave within six months after a child, partner or parent is afflicted. A reduced-hours schedule is also available.
The firm shares a percentage of success with all lawyers through its bonus program. Team employees are eligible for a team bonus based on contributions to client service. Both bonuses are based upon a team member’s contribution to the overall Business Goals of the firm — consistent with the firm’s Mission Statement, Core Values and Promises to Each Other. A further bonus is available to team members who refer certain matters to the firm.
The firm is in the process of developing a student loan repayment program.
The firm offers full-time eligible team members both HMO and Open Access Plus/Out of Network Plan coverage. The firm contributes to team member/dependent premiums. The firm offers HSA and Flexible Spending Accounts for eligible high-deductible plans. Domestic partner coverage is available.
We partner with technology, service and entertainment providers to provide discount programs to all team members. We are also in the process of developing the Gerber Ciano “Greenback” program which is designed for team members to recognize each other with a reward points systems that can be redeemed for gift certificates, movies, and other prizes.
The firm prides itself on mobility, access and being virtual. We have a “Bring Technology to Work” Policy. We install separate work numbers and security software on team member mobile devices. These costs (for device and use) are covered by technology stipends: (1) the firm provides a stipend of up $150 towards the purchase of a new mobile phone every two years; (2) the firm provides a firm-owned laptop every three years to lawyers and team members who need one; and (3) the firm provides $50 per month towards data and Wi-Fi. Team members have ownership of the phone and the mobile cell phone number, but must agree security measures are followed.
We believe in the health of our employees over pizza and bagel parties. We reimburse 50% of gym memberships for any employee. Employees must apply any benefits provided by their health insurance.
We wear suits to court. We wear jeans to the office. Our office dress is extremely casual and more akin to a start-up tech company. We believe our team is most productive when not constrained by traditional notions of dress code. Watch for creative outlet opportunities and theme days.
Vulnerability does not match the general impression society has of lawyers as tough and ambitious. But research suggests that they are at much higher risk of depression, anxiety and substance abuse issues than people in the broader population — and may even be more susceptible than those in other high-stress professions, such as medicine. A study published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine in February 2016 found the rate of problem drinking among lawyers was between two and three times higher than among other highly educated professionals, including physicians. The American Bar Association and the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation funded the study. The rate of depression was about three times higher than the general population in the U.S.
We chose not to turn our heads and ignore the problems our community might face. We have an Employee Assistance Program that provides confidential assistance to deal with various personal problems such as stress, relationship issues, depression, peer conflict management, and other issues that affect work-life balance.
We believe is promoting healthy activity organization-wide. We support healthy behaviors and improving health outcomes while at work. Our programs consist of activities such as health education and coaching, weight management programs, medical screenings, on-site fitness programs, and more.
We believe it is important to allow time for exercise, providing on-site kitchens and eating areas (where possible), offering healthy food options in vending machines, holding “walk and talk” meetings, and offering financial and other incentives for participation.
Offices are closed for Christmas, Christmas Eve, December 26th, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Martin Luther King Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, July 4th, Columbus Day, President’s Day, Thanksgiving and the Friday after Thanksgiving.
We know how stressful the holidays can be and how precious time can be. This is why we have wrappers show up to custom wrap your holiday gifts.
If you want an environment where lunch includes a class for healthy cooking, book clubs, chair massages, office chair relays, foosball tournaments, and the occasional Nerf gun battles, then consider us. We also organize firm events to help develop friendships and break down barriers that exist at traditional law firms.
Corporations have learned that Friday afternoons in Summer are some of the least productive as people are already looking at the clock and thinking of the weekend. Almost 50% of companies have adopted policies that allow team members to leave early on Fridays from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and we do as well. While we cannot always guarantee this as clients and their needs always come first, when we can accomplish this for our team, we do.
We provide opportunity to combine business with pleasure. We have a practice that extends to London, Continental Europe, Bermuda, and Southeast Asia. We understand and appreciate that a practice of law requires family support. When team members travel for client matters, client development and organizational involvement, we encourage family to be part of the trip. We encourage family, spouses and domestic partners to travel and extend a stay with our team members. In many respects, airfare and hotel are already factored in for firm business. We do not nickel and dime over spouse’s or domestic partner’s meal, etc. Instead, we are appreciative of their support of our team. For organizations and events where it is common for the attendee to bring a spouse or domestic partner, we pay for that person’s registration, airfare and incidentals.
Lawyers have all kinds of reasons to be out of the office, and the world accepts this. But if a lawyer wants to replace office time with work at home, often people think the whole foundation of collective effort is undermined. We, however, cannot think of a profession more suited to telecommuting than the legal profession.
We believe that telecommuting results in increased productivity for lawyers. Full-time lawyers who telecommute often work more hours than full-time non-telecommuters. Because the cloud-based tools are always available, telecommuters often have a more productive workweek than their office-bound colleagues. We believe telecommuting also allows our team more flexibility to attend to such personal commitments as medical appointments (for themselves, their children, or their elderly parents) or for school functions. Telecommuters can keep such appointments and still put in a full day’s worth of hours (or more) by working before and after those events. We believe that because telecommuters have more limited personal interaction with colleagues, their communication with colleagues necessarily becomes more valuable and more precise. Telecommuting also reduces the firm’s need for office space and overhead expense, which we invest in our team to ensure they continue to be available for client service.
Flexibility in work schedule is a win-win scenario. Our team is our main asset. Motivating and enabling our team to work more efficiently and effectively is thus a key objective. In a firm such as ours, unpredictability of workload can make flexible working more difficult to accommodate – but not impossible. Where there is clear communication between colleagues about their working arrangements and where people know what is expected of them, there are enormous benefits to both the firm and its team members in a flexible work schedule.
Common types of flexible working at our firm include:
- Lessoned percentage of annualized hours on a permanent basis;
- Job sharing;
- Working less or more than the normal hours, perhaps by working a four day week;
- Staggered hours – shifting hours of work to earlier or later in the day or breaking up the day;
- Lessoned percentage of hours after leave on a temporary basis.
We offer adjustment of firm expectations for lawyers and paid leave of 10 days to team employees for the loss of a close family member or domestic partner.
We have employed electronic tools to regularly survey our team and seek input, measure internal happiness, and allow for confidential input and confidential response.
We encourage volunteerism. After a team member has given 20 hours of service to a charity in a year, the firm donates $250 to that charity. After 40 hours, the firm donates $500. The firm has a donation matching policy applicable to team members who have been employed 18 months. This match also applies to fundraising efforts. For example, if a team member has secured several sponsors for a volunteer walk, then the firm’s matching policy will apply. We also have a grant program that team members may apply to for additional charitable efforts.
The firm contributes towards dental and vision coverage for all full-time eligible employees. Domestic partner coverage is available.
Eligible full-time eligible team members save money by paying for qualified medical expenses (i.e. co-pays, deductibles, qualifying prescriptions, certain medical equipment) with pre-tax dollars from a health savings account or flexible spending account. The firm’s health care FSA provides for a year-to-year rollover up to allowable limits.
Eligible full-time team members save money by paying qualified commuting and parking expenses with pre-tax dollars from a flexible spending account. Qualified parking consists of parking near the workplace or close to a location from which employees commute to work either via transit, vanpool or carpooling.
We offer eligible full-time team members a Dependent Care FSA. This is a pre-tax benefit account used to pay for eligible dependent care services, such as preschool, summer day camp, before or after school programs, and child or adult daycare. It’s a smart, simple way to save money while taking care of your loved ones so that you can continue to work.