If you thought the need for labor laws were long settled, you should go work at one of those “too big to fail” banks.
An intern, working at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, was found dead from a seizure caused by his working many all-nighters and specifically after working 72-hours straight. All to impress his boss. Outside of the insane motivation to work those hours by the individual, you also have to wonder about the manager who let this person work those all-nighters.
In response, Goldman Sachs instituted a policy that says all interns can only work 17-hours a day. Yup, if you enter the office at 7 AM, you have to leave the office at midnight. And nothing about staying home on the weekends either.
The benevolent corporation knows about your need to have a life though:
Shortly after Erhardt’s death, Goldman Sach’s chief executive Lloyd Blankfein told his interns that they shouldn’t give over their whole lives to the firm. “You have to be interesting, you have to have interests away from the narrow thing of what you do,” he said. “You have to be somebody who somebody else wants to talk to.”
Think about that. You work 17 hours a day. With zero commute, a half hour to brush your teeth and perhaps take a shower, you get 6.5 hours per day to be with your friends and family, have a social life, pay your bills, clean your house, buy groceries, and have some down time from the long hours at work. Oh, and you get to sleep during that time as well; sleep is pretty important for us to stay on top of our game.
To be fair, it’s good that Goldman Sachs at least implemented a policy to prevent all-nighters. They also implemented a policy that never should have been implemented in the first place if there was even a minimal amount of common sense displayed at these banks.