9. Big businesses are hiring thousands of employees and doling out pay boosts for those working in the midst of the novel coronavirus.
Amazon, the nation’s second-largest U.S.-based employer next to Walmart, is working to hire 100,000 employees “to meet the surge in demand from people relying on Amazon’s service during this stressful time, particularly those most vulnerable to being out in public,” said Amazon executive Dave Clark in a blog post. A provisional $2/hour raise through the end of April has also been implemented for all hourly employees. All in all, the company will invest more than $350 million globally to increase pay by $2/hour in the U.S., £2/hr in the UK, and approximately €2/hr in many EU countries for employees and partners who are in fulfillment centers, transportation operations, stores or those making deliveries so that others can remain at home.
Groceries like Safeway and Albertson’s have doled up 2,000 immediate job openings in Western Washington, according to a recent press release, “in order to best serve the increasing needs of our communities throughout Puget Sound.” The groceries have also upped pay $2/hour.
Emerald Communities, sponsor of two Washington senior living communities – Emerald Heights of Redmond, Wash. and Heron’s Key of Gig Harbor, Wash. – has implemented a $5/hour appreciation pay bonus, the equivalent of a 10 to 30 percent increase for the majority of its 403 employees at both communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. All employees will also receive an additional 80 hours of sick time if they receive a positive diagnosis of COVID-19 or need to be quarantined at home.
Companies including Fred Meyer and CVS have announced plans to give bonuses to employees continuing to work amid the COVID-19 outbreak. CVS Health announced it would give bonuses of between $150 to $500 to pharmacists and other healthcare professionals, store associates, managers and other employees who need to be on site at the stores. Any employee who tests positive for COVID-19 or needs to be quarantined due to exposure is also expected to receive 14 days of paid leave. Fred Meyer similarly announced appreciation bonuses for employees who are working during this time. The bonuses, ranging from $150 to $300, will be given to every frontline grocery, supply chain, manufacturing and customer service associate.
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