Overworked US bankers plead for maximum 80 hour work week

NEW YORK (AFP) – Overworked and stressed-out new hires at the Goldman Sachs investment bank are asking that their work week be limited – to 80 hours.

They made their case in an 11-page, official looking presentation of the kind the bank would prepare for a client, complete with statistics and graphs.

It stems from a poll of 13 first-year Goldman Sachs employees who said they have worked an average of 98 hours a week since the beginning of the year and generally go to bed around 3am.

They said their physical and mental health are suffering: 77 per cent said they are “victims of workplace abuse”.

“I can’t sleep anymore because my anxiety levels are through the roof,” one worker said in the presentation.

“I didn’t come into this job expecting… 9am-5pms, but I also didn’t expect consistent 9am-5ams either,” another complained. To “rectify the situation”, the proposal said an 80-hour work week should be considered “max capacity”.

The presentation began to circulate on social media on Wednesday before becoming available on Twitter on Thursday. “We recognise that our people are very busy, because business is strong and volumes are at historic levels,” the investment bank said.

“A year into COVID-19, people are understandably quite stretched, and that’s why we are listening to their concerns and taking multiple steps to address them.”

A source close to the bank told AFP Goldman Sachs has spoken with the 13 employees involved in the presentation and other young hires.

The bank has accelerated its recruitment of new bankers since the beginning of the year, and transferred employees into its busiest divisions, the source said.