Hogan Lovells is slightly delaying its return to U.S. offices to Sept. 13 and requiring vaccinations for anyone who wants to go in before that time, as Covid cases continue to rise across the U.S.
“Throughout the pandemic, our people’s safety has been our paramount concern and the foundational principle guiding our decisions,” Richard Lorenzo, regional managing partner for the Americas, said in a statement to Bloomberg Law.
Hogan Lovells had previously extended remote working through Sept. 6.
The announcement from Hogan Lovells comes as carefully crafted return to office plans by law firms and companies face new uncertainty in light of the recent changes by the Center for Disease Control due to the rapidly spreading Delta variant in the U.S.
Earlier this month, CEO Miguel Zaldivar told Bloomberg Law that the firm would be offering flexible return to work options for its employees that would allow regional leaders to determine policy specifics, including the possibility of working from home several days a week.
Lorenzo said that more than 70% of those at Hogan Lovells in the Americas have “voluntarily confirmed” that they are fully vaccinated and that the firm has encouraged its people in the U.S. to be vaccinated if possible.
Only fully vaccinated individuals will be allowed into the office ahead of the Sept. 13 return to office start date, Lorenzo noted. He said people who are fully vaccinated do not have to wear a mask in the office, where permitted, but that the firm will adhere to CDC guidelines, including those in jurisdictions that require vaccinated individuals to wear masks.
The firm will assess this approach in mid to late August and will determine whether vaccinations will be required for office entry from Sept. 13, he said.
“Given the dynamic and unpredictable nature of the pandemic our return to office date and office access requirements may change,” Lorenzo said.