CAA, Paradigm and ICM Join Agencies Giving Employees Option to Work From Home Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

ICM Partners
Courtesy of ICM Partners

CAA, Paradigm and ICM are joining the slew of companies in Los Angeles and New York that are offering their employees work-from-home options in light of the coronavirus outbreak.

On Wednesday, Paradigm announced via an internal memo that it is allowing New York employees to work from home if they choose. Starting Thursday, CAA is allowing employees in all offices to voluntarily work from home as well, an internal memo sent Wednesday noted. ICM additionally announced Wednesday that all employees who "feel unsafe coming to work" may work from home; ICM particularly recommended that those who "fall in the CDC list of those most vulnerable to the effects of coronavirus" as well as those that use public transportation and have family members affected by business closures due to the virus stay home.

"Fortunately, at this time, we are not aware of any employees testing positive for the coronavirus, yet also recognize that each of us is unique in our reaction to circumstances, responsibilities at home and individual health concerns," CAA president Richard Lovett wrote in an all-staff email on Wednesday afternoon. "Beginning tomorrow, Thursday, March 12th, any employee who prefers not to work from the office in any location may elect to work remotely."

Preparations began days ago for these changes, in some cases: Paradigm started readying their tech infrastructure for remote work two days ago, while CAA's decision follows a suite of restrictions due to the virus, including bans on travel and client meetings and the cancellation of a retreat and a full staff meeting.

Other agencies are making different changes. The Buchwald agency is limiting employees coming into the office by closing the VO/SELFTAPE Studios and encouraging meetings to be held on Skype. The agency previously suspended all business travel, is giving paid sick leave to anyone affected by the coronavirus, preparing their office for remote work and encouraging self-taping and meetings to be held over video conferencing systems. A3 has restricted visitors from stopping by the office, ended business travel, asked clients to self-tape and reminded employees to stay home if they are feeling unwell.

UTA, WME, Gersh, APA and Verve did not return a request for their plans by press time.

L.A. County on Wednesday announced its first death from COVID-19, while 191 people have currently tested positive for the virus in California. Two hundred sixteen people have tested positive in New York State, with 52 cases in New York City.

Senior reporter Rebecca Sun contributed to this story from The Hollywood Reporter.