JP Morgan Would Show You The Door For A Lot Less

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It’s not enough that people associate Merrill Lynch with branch managers trying to manage your assets out of a kiosk in the mall and throwing in a free 9-hole round at the local par-3 where they can tell you about all the revolutionary Merrill structured products that can return less than t-bills (before fees). Now, nine days sick in the calendar year will get you canned. From Gawker, who for some reason has a Merrill Lynch correspondent:

Attendance Guidelines (Effective May 14, 2007)
A good attendance record and demonstrated reliability is one attribute of successful performance and is expected of all employees. These guidelines are in place to enable managers to address and foster improvement when an attendance problem has been demonstrated.

Each day an employee misses work is considered an absence. Employees are considered absent when they miss one-third or more of a workday.
It is the employee's responsibility to contact their manager within one hour of their scheduled start time to report any absence, and failure to do so may result in disciplinary action. Absence without notice for two consecutive days is grounds for termination of employment.
An absence is recorded as excused under this policy only if it is a) a pre-approved vacation or an approved personal day; b) an approved leave of absence under Merrill Lynch policy; or, c) an absence covered by any applicable federal or state law. (See Leave of Absence Policies.)
Outlined below are suggested guidelines for managers to address absences based upon the employee's work schedule. Management may accelerate the action steps described in these guidelines when patterns of attendance problems have been identified (including, but not limited to, repeated absences the day before and/or after a holiday or weekend; unacceptable level of absences over time with no demonstrated improvement; absences surrounding vacation).
Employee Status: Full Time Absences in a 12-month Period /Action
Up to 3 days/Acceptable attendance: No action.
4 to 6 days/Questionable attendance: Manager/employee discussion or written communication from manager to employee stressing importance of good attendance; reviewing impact on performance; and describing future consequences including termination of employment. Non-payment may result.
7 to 8 days/Poor attendance: Written communication from manager to employee reviewing impact on performance and warning that failure to improve will result in immediate termination of employment. Non-payment should result.
9 to 10 days/Unacceptable attendance: Resulting in termination of employment.

Terminating the sickly seems harsh until you remember that nine days is probably three times as many days out of work as almost anyone on Wall Street gets who doesn't have the words 'managing director' after their name.
Merrill Lynch's Harsh New Sick Day Policy [Gawker]

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In Wake Of Exec "Accidentally" Stabbing A Cab Driver, Morgan Stanley Insists You Ask, "What Would The Post Say?"

A year ago this Friday, a Morgan Stanley banker named William Bryan Jennings attended a couple holiday parties, drank a few Coors Lights, and around 10:30PM hailed a cab and asked the driver, Helmy Ammar, to take him home to Connecticut. On the way, a hungry WBJ requested they stop at G&G Deli off 10th Avenue, where he bought "a 20 oz. bottle of Aquafina water, a sandwich and some Burger King cheesy fries." As the cab entered approached Jennings' hometown of Darien, a dispute reportedly broke out as to what the fare for the ride would be. Ammar claims that they'd agreed on $204 before leaving Manhattan, but once in Connecticut, Jennings said he'd only pay $50. Jennings claims that Ammar jacked the price up to $300 and was unhappy when the banker offered $160. Another matter of he said/he said is whether or not Jennings started shouting racial slurs at Ammar and told him, "I'm going to kill you. You should go back to your country!" (Jennings denies this happened and says that Ammar locked the doors and wouldn't let him out of the cab.) The one aspect of the story that is not in dispute is that as tensions flared, WBJ whipped out a pen knife he had in his pocket. For those of you reading from Morgan Stanley, this is where the teachable moments occurs: if you ever find yourself in a situation wherein you're winding up to stab a cab driver in the hand, stop and ask yourself, "Is this going to look bad in the Post tomorrow morning?" Jennings did not and now this is happening: