Major Agencies Ask All Employees to Work From Home Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

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CAA's Century City building

CAA, ICM and Paradigm all implemented remote work following a similar decision by UTA on Wednesday night.

Following a similar move by fellow major agency UTA on Wednesday night, CAA, Paradigm, ICM, Gersh, A3 and Buchwald have asked all employees to work from home, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

CAA's New York office was encouraged to work from home early Thursday, while the California office will work from home starting end of day Thursday. "To best address everyone's comfort, health, and well-being, as of the end of business today, all employees globally are asked to work remotely," agency president Richard Lovett said in an all-staff email. "As of this moment, thankfully, we are not aware of any employees testing positive for the coronavirus."

New York's immediate work-from-home policy follows one New York CAA employee's contact with an infected NBA basketball player. In an email sent to New York employees Thursday morning, Mike Levine, co-head of CAA Sports, wrote, "We have been made aware that at least one New York CAA Sports employee had direct contact with an NBA player who has tested positive for COVID-19. The contact happened in New York on Wednesday, March 4. In an abundance of caution and care for our employees, we are asking all New York employees [to] work remotely, effective immediately."

As of Thursday, Utah Jazz stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell have tested positive for coronavirus. Gobert is represented by Comsport, while Donovan Mitchell is represented by CAA. Following the news that Gobert had the virus, the NBA suspended its season until further notice on Wednesday night.

CAA president Lovett said in a comment to THR, "While we have asked colleagues worldwide to work remotely, all of us at CAA remain committed to serving our clients and working in partnership with our friends and business leaders in movies, television, music, sports and beyond. Our goal throughout our preparations for remote work has been to work as seamlessly as possible, while, of course, making health and wellness a priority in our decision-making."

ICM also announced on Thursday that it has instructed New York and Washington, D.C.-based employees to work remotely beginning on Thursday and Los Angeles-based employees to do the same starting on Friday.

Paradigm additionally said that their offices in L.A., New York, Nashville and Chicago will be shut down and employees instructed to work from home starting Friday morning.

Also on Thursday UTA, which had instructed its employees to work from home on Wednesday, announced that all offices worldwide will close until further notice. "From the start of the coronavirus outbreak, we have worked hard to make decisions guided by the best available science and that put the health and well-being of our UTA family first," UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer wrote in an all-staff email on Thursday. "That has led us to make the decision now to close UTA’s physical offices worldwide effective at the end of business today, Thursday, March 12, and direct our colleagues to work from home for at least the coming weeks."

A3 notified employees that the agency had implemented a work-from-home policy for two weeks, from March 13 to March 27. Gersh has additionally asked its employees to work from home until further notice.

West Coast co-heads of Buchwald said that their offices in Los Angeles are also closing for a little over two weeks as the virus spreads. "As we are aware about the spread of COVID-19 and are looking for ways to minimize exposure, Buchwald has decided to close the Los Angeles office as of the end of day today, as has been decided in New York," Julia Buchwald and Ryan Martin said in a statement. "Our plan is to remain closed until Monday March 30th, however, that date may be subject to change depending on future COVID-19 developments. During this time all employees are mandated to work from home." We are fully prepared with all systems in place and we will remain fully operational while working away from the office.

On Wednesday CAA announced that it was offering employees the option to work from home; Paradigm and ICM announced similar policies. Previously, CAA's precautions against the virus included banning travel and client meetings and canceling a retreat and a full staff meeting