Employees offered chance to get paid for no work

You may have noticed that we — along with pretty much every other media source — harp every week on how the economy is not doing well. The media seems to have been saying this for months, and we have yet to see signs of great improvement.

Instead of glossing over the newest government plan to create relief or the latest company in need of relief, in this week’s “Reminder of the Bad Economy,” we are going to talk about a law firm with a very creative solution.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom has recently offered all 1300 of their associates the opportunity to take a year off and still receive a third of their base salary. Yes, that is right, a year during which they need to do absolutely no work for the company, or even any work at all, and they will still receive $80,000.

The employees were also promised that by accepting the offer, their future career would not be jeopardized.

Nearly every college student we know would gladly jump at the opportunity to make $80k a year while spending their time on whatever piqued their interest in the moment, instead of working. Skadden has already seen about 10 percent of their employees express interest.

We want to commend Skadden for coming up with a creative solution that happens to appeal not only to college students, but also to overworked lawyers who would like to take time off to finish their Ph.D.s, spend time with their families, and travel the world.

By creating this program with no strings attached, they have given their employees an opportunity to take on something new while, at the same time, enabling themselves not to lay off their associates in these rough economic times.