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BofA Worker Death Highlights Importance of Employee Well-being

— June 10, 2024

High-stress industries are placings a tremendous pressure on workers, often leading to dangerous health consequences…or worse.

There are certain industries that tend to place a tremendous amount of pressure on their workers. Law, for example, is one field that is notorious for the high-stress environment that it creates, and countless lawyers work seemingly endless hours just to try to keep up and eventually get ahead with their practice. Banking is another space that has a similar sense of pressure. The hours can be incredibly long, especially for young professionals trying to make a mark, and the competition is extremely high. Sadly, this is not only a difficult lifestyle to sustain from a work-life balance perspective, but it can also be dangerous to the health of the individuals involved. This issue has been brought to the forefront again as a result of the death of a Bank of America (BofA) associate. Leo Lukenas III worked on Wall Street and had been putting in 100-hour weeks for several weeks in a row while dealing with a large merger project. That merger was completed on a Monday, and Lukenas died on Thursday. The cause of death was listed as acute coronary artery thrombus, and Lukenas leaves behind a wife and two children. He was just 35 years old.

BofA Worker Death Highlights Importance of Employee Well-being
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

In the aftermath of his death, many of Lukenas’ coworkers at Bank of America have been calling for reforms to the system that they feel played a role in his passing. Of course, there is no way to firmly link his death with the long hours he had been working and the stress he had been under, but it’s certainly a connection that is worth consideration. It’s also worth noting that Lukenas was no stranger to completing difficult tasks and holding up under pressure, as he was a Green Beret for over a decade.

It’s difficult to break a pattern of long hours and major stress in many of the major industries around the country and the world. For so long, success in many of these fields has come down to working superhuman hours and being subjected to incredibly challenging conditions week after week and month after month. While some people manage to make it through that kind of situation and come out successfully on the other side, that is not the story for everyone. Some wind up having to quit and find other lines of work, and others aren’t fortunate enough to even have that opportunity.

There is often a lot of talk in the aftermath of tragic events about how human lives are more important than profits and how the well-being of employees is the primary concern of every organization. Rarely does such talk lead to any actual changes. It seems unlikely that this case will be any different, but hopefully, some positive change will be enacted somewhere to help more people avoid the kind of stress and overwork that can potentially lead to tragic health outcomes. It is crucial for companies to recognize that sustainable success is built on healthy, balanced employees, and prioritize reforms that reflect this understanding.


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