SEC extends remote work policy amid rising coronavirus cases

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The SEC will allow most employees to continue working from home at least until October as the Wall Street regulator extends accommodations initiated in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said in an email to staff late last week that the agency had been functioning well with employees working remotely and that the extension would allow time to see how schools and other organizations approached reopening after the summer. The 4,000-person SEC in March was one of the first federal agencies to tell employees to stay home due to the public health emergency.

“It makes sense to use our flexibility,” Clayton said in the July 10 email reviewed by Bloomberg News. “As just one of many potential examples, if in September your child’s school physically reopens in one form or another, I don’t want you to be unnecessarily distracted from dealing with that in the best way possible.”

The move comes as schools grapple with how to resume classes in the face of a resurgence of Covid-19 infections across large swaths of the country. The SEC has offices in major cities including Washington, New York, Miami and Los Angeles.

An SEC spokeswoman declined to comment.

President Trump is pushing schools to reopen their campuses as part of a broader effort to revive the economy, and his allies including Education Secretary Betsy DeVos have threatened to cut funding to schools that don’t resume in-person learning. Democrats have accused Trump of irresponsibly putting political interests ahead of public safety as he seeks re-election in November.

Clayton, who has led the SEC since 2017, has been under fire from Democrats since the White House said last month that it was tapping him to become the new U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Bloomberg News
Coronavirus Work from home SEC Jay Clayton
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