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Howrey employees and staffers have had it rough. First, Howrey dived straight into some dire financial straits. Then, Howrey dissolved into thin air. Okay, so it didn't dissolve literally, but firm partners voted to dissolve the firm in March. And now, Citibank is blocking some poor staffers' Howrey bonuses.
Howrey had wanted to pay some of the staffers working on winding down the business around $500,000 in bonuses, reports Thomson Reuters News & Insight.
There are about 46 lucky employees working on the dissolution of the firm. Howrey had planned to pay around 20 employees bonuses, according to Thomson Reuters News & Insight. Unluckily for them, Citibank's motion in bankruptcy court may mean they might not get any money at all.
But, is it really that surprising? Howrey owes Citibank around $49 million, which is no small chunk of change, according to Thomson Reuters News & Insight. They were probably more than a little miffed when Howrey decided to pay its employees rather than save the money for them.
Howrey's justification for the bonuses? That they need to make sure their workers are compensated during the dissolution process and that they need to ensure that they retain certain personnel, Thomson Reuters News & Insight reports.
Et tu, Brute, Citibank? It wasn't too long ago that Citibank itself faced some negative press for shelling out big bonuses to their employees.
Citibank asserts that Howrey hasn't demonstrated that they need to pay bonuses in order retain workers, reports Thomson Reuters News & Insight.
Truthfully though, most bonuses probably incentivize and tend to retain workers. Employees are working not only because they love their job and their boss, but also because they get paid for it. Give them more money, and maybe they'll work more! It's not exactly a novel idea.
Howrey staffers will likely have to wait and see if they will actually get any extra cash coming their way. The Howrey bonus issue will be heard in bankruptcy court.