With government orders for more than 50 million Americans to shelter in place at their homes, it has become increasingly hard for employees in "non-essential" industries to maintain their livelihood. Other employees have found themselves working from home for the first time. In the face of all this adversity, a handful of companies have worked quickly to develop programs meant to help employees during a moment of monumental upheaval.
From improved sick leave policies to wage increases and guaranteed pay for employees who were sent home as retail stores have temporarily closed, these companies are stepping up to help their workers, even when their own operations are in a state of uncertain upheaval.
Target Is Offering Raises, Bonuses, And More
Target is making sure its employees are well taken care of during the current crisis. The company has announced wage increases, a brand new paid leave program, an increase in employee bonuses, and a fund which the company has setu p to offer relief to employees in need.
Target says employees will receive an additional $2 per hour through at least May 6. Employees who are 65-years or older, pregnant and those with high-risk medical conditions are now being offered paid leave. Nearly 20,000 hourly department leaders are also receiving $250 to $1,500 bonuses.
Disney Closes Theme Park But Makes Right By Employees And Customers
Disney was forced to close its Disneyland and Disney World theme park attractions but employees working for the company won't feel the effects of those closures. Disney has promised to continuing paying employees and providing them with any corporate benefits they were receiving before the parks were forced to close.
If you were planning a trip to a Disney attraction, the company has also said it will provide a refund upon request.
Dick's Sporting Goods Is Paying Employees To Stay Home
Dick's Sporting Goods and its Golf Galaxy stores will remain open for curbside pickup but most of its employees have been sent home. Realizing the impact the current situation has on employees, Dick's decided to do right by its hourly and salaries worked.
"To help alleviate challenges during this temporary closure, we will be providing full pay and benefits during this two-week timeframe for all teammates," the company wrote in a press release. Dick's Sporting Goods has promised to always do right by its employees.
Warby Parker Is Going On In When Protecting Its Employees
Warby Parker has become a major player in the eyewear industry over the last several years and the company is proving to be an employee-first player in the crowded glasses and contacts field. The eyeglass retailer recently announced it was shutting down all of its retail locations from March 15 through March 27.
Retail team members, the company revealed, are still being paid as if they were working in stores during the closure. You can show your support to the company by continuing to shop online for your next reasonably priced pair of glasses or sunglasses.
Microsoft Continues Paying Hourly Staff Who Support A Now Closed Campus
When Microsoft sent all of its Seattle-based employees home for three weeks the company quickly realized that its support staff on it's Seattle campuses didn't have the option to work from home.
Acting quickly and compassionately, the tech giant announced that it would continue to pay campus employees as if its headquarters never closed. It was a big gesture from the company that supports 54,000 people just in the Seattle region.
Adidas Goes All In On Employee Well-Being
Adidas made the decision to close its stores in the United States, Europe, and Canada from March 17 through at least March 29. The sneaker giant also announced that its employees would not be forced to scrape by without jobs.
Adidas says all workers are set to receiving the full pay and benefits they would have received for any hours already scheduled. It's unclear if additional pay will be made should the company need to extend its store closures.
Abercrombie & Fitch Faces Economic Uncertainty But Will Take Care Of Its Employees
Abercrombie & Fitch has not always had the best history among the public but what the organization is doing for employees deserves recognition. A&F announced that from March 15 through March 28, it would close all of its stores outside of the Asia-Pacific region. The company controls more than 850 stores, including its control of the Hollister franchise.
Despite an already rocky financial future, the company's CEO Fran Horowitz announced that the company would continue to pay its employees and offer their regular benefits. Employees are being taken care of even as the company has been forced to withdraw its financial outlook.
Mark Cuban Is Feeding His Employees While Simultaneously Helping Small Businesses
This isn't just focused on one company but all company's owned by Mark Cuban, including the Dallas Mavericks basketball franchise. Cuban announced he would reimburse all lunch and coffee purchased made by his employees.
There is one caveat, the purchases need to be from local, independent small businesses. Cuban's move ensures his employees are happy while making sure businesses in the area have steady incoming coming in when they need it most.
Alphabet Goes Beyond Direct Hires With Its Assistance Program
Alphabet, the parent company for Google, YouTube, and a host of other companies, has set up a fund that provides sick leave for all of its workers globally.
Not only are direct hires included in Alphabet's coverage, the company is also extending its new emergency relief to temporary staff workers, contracts for the company and all Alphabet vendors. With 118,899 employees, Google's effort alone can provide a cushion to about a small cities worth of employees.
Uber Makes A Surprise Announcement For Freelance Drivers
We fully understand that Uber hasn't had the best reputation for the last several years. However, the company stunned many people when it announced plans to support drivers during a period of uncertainty.
Anyone diagnosed during the current pandemic can require assistance that includes 14 days worth of pay. Keep in mind, Uber is under no direct obligation to pay drivers who are considered freelance/contact workers. The company is basing that assistance on the average pay drivers have earned each day over the previous six months.
Major League Baseball Pledges $30 Million For Ballpark Workers
$30 million was pledged by Major League Baseball's 30 ball clubs. The money is being used to provide assistance for lost wages being experienced by workers who were supposed to start work during MLB games that were slated to begin on March 26, 2020.
"Motivated by desire to help some of the most valuable members of the baseball community, each Club has committed $1 million," MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement.
Nike Moves To A Work-From-Home Model And Pays Employees Without That Option
Nike employs thousands of employees throughout its retail locations in the United States, Canada, and Western Europe. After announcing the closure of those stores from Monday, March 16 through March 27, 2020, Nike revealed all employees would continue to be paid and receive their full corporate-sponsored benefits.
Further, Nike announced it was moving its corporate staffers and other field workers to a work-from-home setup. The company is also staggering work schedules to ensure its employees settle into their new short-term reality.
Facebook Gives Every Employee $1000 And 'Exceed Expectations' Performance Ratings
Facebook didn't wait for lawmakers to give every American $1000. The world's largest social network announced it would provide every single employee at the company with a $1,000 bonus.
Part of the company's plan gives every worker an "exceeds" rating for personal performance. The company operates on a unique structure that requires employees to seek out five ratings from fellow employees. An "exceeds" rating could lead to additional bonuses for many of the company's 45,000+ employees. Facebook is also paying some contractors to stay home and relax while the company's in-house employees pick up some of the slack while working from home.
Williams Sonoma Will Continuing Paying Employees During Massive Store Closures
Williams-Sonoma, Inc. operates various businesses in the United States and Canada. Among those stores are the company's namesake, Pottery Barn, West Elm, Rejuvenation, and others. The company closed all of its stores until at least April 2.
In announcing the temporary halt in brick-and-mortar operations, Williams-Sonoma said it will continue to pay its employees and offer any company-sponsored benefits. With 19,350 employees it's a pretty big commitment from the retail conglomerate.
Pepsi Offers Various Solutions To 90,000+ Employees
PepsiCo announced it was going to increase worker pay by at least $100 per week for an entire month. The company also said it would provide immediate sick leave pay to any quarantined employee and pay employees who are forced to stay home and take care of their children at a rate of two-thirds of their normal wages for up to 12 weeks.
Any worker at a facility that is forced to temporarily shutdown will receive 12 weeks of full pay. The company also announced plans to hire 6,000 new workers in the coming months.
Taco Bell Has Promised Workers A Safety Net
Taco Bell wants to make sure its employees stay engaged with the company during a time of uncertainty. In order to accomplish this goal, the company announced that employees at all company-owned restaurants will continue to be paid if they are required to stay home or if a location they work at has been closed. Employees will receive pay for their regular scheduled hours.
Taco Bell owns approximately 1,400 of its nearly 6,000 locations. The company says its working with franchisee-owned locations to find a similar solution.
Amazon Issues Double Hourly Rates, $2 Pay Increases, And More
Amazon has seen a massive increase in orders from people being forced to stay home. The company, in response to needing workers, told warehouse employees they would receive double their hourly rate for any overtime worked through May 9. The company normally pays time-and-a-half.
The company also issued $2 per hour wage increases through the end of April and announced plans to hire at least 100,000 workers who will help meet online order demands during an extraordinary moment in history. The incentives do come at a cost with Amazon reporting the first case of sickness inside a warehouse environment.
Postmates Moves Quickly To Protect Its Gig-Economy Workers
Much like Uber, delivery service Postmates announced a program that provides its gig-workers with a little bit of relief. While Uber offered paid time off for illness, Postmates is focused on an "emergency fleet relief" fund to help cover medical expenses for its couriers.
"For its fleet of flexible workers and couriers, Postmates has created an emergency fleet relief fund from which it will cover the costs of workers' doctor's appointments and medical expenses," the company revealed. "This fund will allow couriers in impacted states to take proactive and preventative steps, and will cover medical check-ups regardless of whether the courier has been quarantined or diagnosed with COVID-19."
Lowe's Begins Offering Various Types Of Employee Relief
Hardware giant Lowe's announced on March 11, 2020, that the company would provide various levels of support to employees. The temporary measures employed by the company include 14 paid days off is someone is diagnosed or even just quarantined.
The company is also offered 14 days of paid time off to any employee who is considered to be in a "high-risk" group. Lowe's says those 14 days of monetary relief won't count against an employee's sick, vacation, or holiday time.
Apple Moves To Work-At-Home Where Possible And Pays Everyone Else To Go Home
Apple has closed all of its stores around the world (outside of Greater China) until March 27. In response to those closures, Apple said hourly workers "will continue to receive pay in alignment with business as usual operations."
The company also announced that any employee who wanted the option could start working from home. The company has also expanded its leave policies to "accommodate personal or family circumstances" which can include "recovering from an illness, caring for a sick loved one, mandatory quarantining, or childcare challenges due to school closures."
Starbucks Vows To Pay All Employees For 30 Days
On March 23, 2020, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson told CNBC that the company was prioritizing employees over profits. Johnson announced that all employees at the company will continue to be paid, even if they are not currently working during the current situation.
Starbucks has closed all U.S. locations that do not offer a drive-thru or delivery orders and have limited staff working at locations that have remained open for pickup orders.