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Bill Stoeri
Bill Stoeri

Dorsey restores pay after COVID-19 salary cuts

The Dorsey & Whitney law firm has reinstated staff pay after pandemic-related cuts earlier this year. The firm announced on Oct. 16 that it would restore employees’ slashed salaries for the rest of the year.

“The firm has determined that the relatively strong demand for our legal services, together with the effect of cost-cutting measures in the face of the pandemic, allows us to restore full base pay sooner than originally anticipated,” said Bill Stoeri, the firm’s managing partner, in a written statement.

In May, annual pay for non-equity-partner attorneys was reduced between 10% and 20%. Staff making $150,000 or more lost pay at the same rates.

Those salaries have now been restored to prior levels, the firm said. For the four-month period during which salary cuts were in effect, the effective annual reductions ranged from 3.33% to 6.67% of annual pay, the firm said.

Associates, whose effective annual reduction was 5%, already had the opportunity to be “trued up” to recover some or all of their pay, provided they met billable-hour benchmarks.

As financial results for the entire year become more clearly evident, the firm will consider paying back previously reduced salaries, in whole or in part, to affected employees, the firm said.

“There is a long way to go in managing through these unprecedented times,” Stoeri said, “but it was our stated intention to restore pay reductions if the economics made it feasible. We are fortunate to be in a position to do that.”

The Oct. 16 announcement did not address the unspecified number of layoffs at the firm that also were announced in May. However, a firm spokesman, Jeri Longtin-Kloss, said in an email Thursday that rehiring is not part of the changes instituted in restoring pay.

“Staffing needs will continue to be evaluated as things progress,” she said.

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About Kevin Featherly

Kevin Featherly, who joined BridgeTower Media in mid-2016, is a journalist and former freelance writer who has covered politics, law, business, technology and popular culture for publications and websites in the Twin Cities and nationally since the mid-1990s.

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