Bank of America Merrill Lynch has issued a memo requiring its lower-level employees to take four weekend days off a month following the death of a 21-year-old intern last summer, Reuters reports.
The bank’s analysts and associates — the most junior positions —
have to get permission from senior managers if they don’t want to take those days off, according to the memo, which also applies to summer interns.
The memo said the purpose of the guidelines is to increase “the efficient use of our time and resources, support work-life balance, increase our junior banker staffing levels and enhance the overall work experience.”
The new guidelines come after a review that lasted several months, according to The New York Times. The issue of long work hours for young bankers “sharpened” for Bank of America after the death of 21-year-old intern Moritz Erhardt in August, The Times noted.
There were unconfirmed reports that he pulled three consecutive all-nighters before his death, according to The Times. While the cause of death was ultimately determined to be epilepsy, the Times noted that his death spurred banks to reevaluate the punishing hours expected of junior bankers.
“We are committed to making the work experience better for junior bankers and believe these enhancements will help ensure they have the resources and support needed to succeed,” Christian Meissner, who heads Bank of America’s global corporate and investment banking, said in the memo that was cited by The Times.