Morgan Stanley tells workers to return to office or take pay cut as pandemic eases

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The CEO of Morgan Stanley has warned employees to return to the office by Labor Day or face a pay cut, as New York City businesses reopen fully from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If you can go into a restaurant in New York City, you can come into the office,” CEO James Gorman said during an annual company conference that was held virtually on Monday, the New York Post reported.

The big bank has allowed its 70,000 employees to work from home during the pandemic. But Mr. Gorman, noting that 70% of adults in the city have received at least one dose of vaccine and the infection rate is below half a percent, said it’s time to get back to the office.

“We do our work inside Morgan Stanley offices, and that’s where we teach, that’s where our interns learn, that’s how we develop people,” he said. “On Labor Day, I’ll be very disappointed if people haven’t found their way into the office. Then, we’ll have a different kind of conversation.”

Facebook has made a similar move, telling employees they’ll face a pay cut if they want to keep working outside of San Francisco or New York.

Employers are being hit by a wave of resignations as the pandemic eases.

In April, the Labor Department said the share of U.S. workers leaving their jobs was 2.7%, up from 1.6% a year ago and the highest level in at least 20 years.

Some workers don’t want to return to an office, while others are opting to seek higher wages during the labor shortage.

Mr. Gorman also told employees that they can’t continue to be paid a salary based on working New York City if they’re living and working outside the city.

“If you want to get paid New York rates, you work in New York. None of this, ‘I’m in Colorado and work in New York and am getting paid like I’m sitting in New York City,’” Mr. Gorman said, according to the Post. “Sorry, that doesn’t work.”

He didn’t say whether employees might lose their jobs.

The paper said Morgan Stanley’s competitors in New York have yet to take similar action with their employees.

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