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It’s Thanksgiving. Being a lawyer has been good to me and most of my colleagues in the workers’ comp field.

But perks?

The workers’ comp industry doesn’t have many perks. Yes, the occasional A’s game ticket. And periodic educational junkets and forums. Not much else. You can only use so many pens and hi-liters from the logo merchandisers.

Silicon Valley paved the perk highway in the 90s.

Before the dot-com bust, Silicon Valley firms had on-site catered meals
and Friday beer busts. A well fed worker may work longer hours. In the tech world, it’s part of the start-up culture. And some of that may be coming back with Web 2.0.

But leave it to the sharks to figure out major league perks.

Personal valet services to pick up the dry cleaning and fetch items from the hardware store or chase down concert tickets. On site tailoring services. In-house psychologists and “personal coaches” to help you figure out your life.

Lunches featuring Spanish wines and sushi. Emergency nanny services.
In house yoga classes. A nap room.

These are some of the tricks being used to “retain” top talent at some of the nation’s large corporate law firms (NOT your workers’ compensation lawyer, for sure). Apparently Gen X and Gen Next lawyers are having trouble committing to careers which pay big bucks in exchange for crushing billable hour requirements. They want a family, friends and a life.

It’s hard to enjoy Thanksgiving stuck in the office working on the big merger and acquisitions deal. Thus, the focus on lavishing perks to keep these young sharks happy.

Think I’m making this up? Check out today’s New York Times piece by
Lynnley Browning:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/22/busin … mp;ex=1195

Meanwhile, I wish my readers a Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you’ll be able to spend some time with family and friends.

Here in the Bay Area I’m looking at the azure colored San Francisco Bay and a sliver of the Pacific beyond the Golden Gate.

It all looks pristine. From looking at it you’d never know it had recently been befouled by a recent oil spill.

In many ways that’s much like workers’ comp these days. Reforms were a success if the measure is reduced costs for some employers. But the reforms have many darker aspects. I’ll continue to explore the nooks and crannys of the system.

Julius Young
www.boxerlaw.com

Category: Political developments

Julius Young

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