The bad news about Bank of America's new working hours restrictions

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Like Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan, Bank of America has just introduced a new rule restricting working hours for its most junior staff.

Insiders say BAML's new restrictions state that junior staff must have at least four weekend days off per month. There are no stipulations governing the distribution of these days off, but they have to be taken. Junior BAML staff who want to work more than four weekend days in January will have to get sign-off from the "regional head of the business" according to our sources.

The new rule follows the death of Bank of America intern Moritz Erhardt this summer. Erhardt had allegedly worked 72 hours running, although a coroner ruled his death was the result of an epileptic seizure. 

Other banks have already moved to restrict working hours for junior staff. In October, Goldman Sachs introduced a 'Saturday rule' forbidding its juniors from coming into the office or logging into their Blackberries from 9pm on Friday to 9am on Saturday, and in December JPMorgan introduced 'protected weekends' stipulating that its junior staff should have at least one weekend off work per month.

Bank of America's new rule appears to place the bank midway between Goldman and JPMorgan. The bank declined to comment on the changes.

It's not all good news, however. While both Goldman and JPMorgan are hiring additional juniors to compensate for the shorter working hours, we understand that there are no plans to increase recruitment at BAML. Junior staff may simply end up working longer hours during the week as a result.

We also understand that some associate-level Bank of America people who are currently working in front office positions will be temporarily re-classified as "staffers" and tasked with assigning work and monitoring workloads under the new arrangements. This seems unlikely to be a particularly popular career move.