Notable Company Responses to the Coronavirus Pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic is pressuring businesses of all sizes. Here we note some of the positive actions that are being taken to help employees and communities mitigate the challenges we are all facing. We will continue to update this page with the latest announcements and examples.
Aerospace & Defense
American Airlines is offering most of its union workers unpaid, voluntary leave for up to a year as COVID-19 coronavirus saps demand. Unpaid leave will allow employees to continue receiving medical and other health benefits as long as they pay at the same rate as other employees. It also allows employees to accrue seniority but not vacation or sick leave. The airline is also offering retirement packages to people who have been with the company 15 years or more.
Delta’s CEO is forgoing his salary for the year to diminish layoffs. (Note: other major airline heads only gave up two months' salary or took a 10% pay cut.)
United Technologies has committed to donate 19,000 masks, 75,000 pairs of gloves, and 3,000 medical grade Tyvek suits to support U.S. national efforts.
New Balance is transitioning several production lines from shoes to face masks in order to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Miller is donating $1 million to support out-of-work bartenders during the coronavirus pandemic.
Hormel Foods has announced a $1 million dollar pledge to help those suffering from food insecurity during this crisis.
American Eagle and Aerie are committing $1 million to COVID-19 relief efforts and will donate 1 million masks to public health workers.
Conde Nast is instituting 10-20% pay cuts for all staff making over $100K for the next five months to avoid layoffs.
Hanes clothing company is retrofitting factories to make masks to combat the aggressive spread of novel coronavirus.
CarMax Implemented a policy that any location that must close due to coronavirus will pay its employees for an additional two weeks.
Danone has guaranteed it’s 100,000 employee’s contracts and income until June 30th, has confirmed all of their employees will have COVID-19 health coverage, and the company is giving bonuses for employees who must work onsite.
Giant, Whole Foods, Target, and Dollar General have created “senior-only” shopping hours, to allow those most at risk from coronavirus to shop separately.
U-Haul has announced 30 days of free self-storage to all college students who have been impacted by schedule changes at their universities.
A week after announcing they were asking employees to donate their paid time off to colleagues, has updated its policies. Its new approach includes an additional $2 an hour for all employees through April, double-time for all overtime, unlimited call-outs, two weeks additional paid-time off for all those diagnosed with coronavirus or forced into quarantine, and more.
Yum Brands is vowing to keep paying employees at any of its stores that are shut down due to coronavirus. However, Yum only owns 2% of its stores, and so is encouraging franchisees – the vast majority of their owners – to follow suit.
Darden (Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse, and others) announced paid sick leave for all of its hourly workers not currently covered by a corporate policy.
Disney has closed its parks and cruises in response to coronavirus. They have promised to continue paying their employees during the closure and will give refunds to all who had planned on visiting.
Hilton is waiving cancellation fees for people in countries impacted by coronavirus.
Starbucks has extended its mental health benefits.
Yoga/fitness wear brand Lululemon is closing all of its stores in North America and Europe for the next two weeks. During this time, employees will be paid for all hours they were scheduled to work.
LVMH, the parent company of Christian Dior, Guerlain and Givenchy, will use the production facilities of its perfumes and cosmetics brands to produce large quantities of hydroalcoholic gel, or hand sanitizer, starting Monday.
&Pizza’s CEO, Michael Lastoria, notified employees last week that the company is offering free, unlimited pizzas to them and their immediate families as well as to hospital workers. The company is also raising hourly pay by $1 and extending 14 days of “health and safety pay” to employees who have tested positive for or come in contact with someone with coronavirus.
REI and Patagonia, which have long been known for positive customer relations, have temporarily closed their retail stores and are continuing to serve customers online. They have said their store employees will continue to be paid during the shutdowns.
Domino’s Pizza expects to hire about 10,000 workers nationwide in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Nike workers will be paid in full during the closure (through March 27, as of this writing). Nike also announced remote work and staggered work schedules for non-store employees.
Marriot CEO Arne Sorenson announced that the company would be halting share buybacks and suspending its cash dividend, in addition to suspending Sorenson’s salary for the balance of 2020. The company will also be reducing salaries for the senior executive team by 50% and hiring only “essential positions.”
Consulting and Research
PwC has closed all of its offices and are allowing all U.S. employees to work from home, as well as offering $2,200 in additional emergency backup childcare.
S&P Global has expanded care leave and minimum sick leave to two weeks, supported global work-from-home arrangements by providing a technology subsidy to accommodate the WFH environment, and extended their Employee Assistance Program to provide wider access to mental health services. It has also committed pay employees who contract COVID-19 and is extending vacation carryover.
AFLAC has made a $5 million donation to two organizations that are providing assistance for health care workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Progressive Insurance created their Apron Relief Program, setting aside $1bn for their customers. Those with an active personal auto policy at the end of April will receive a credit for 20% of their April premium, 20% credit at the end of May and Progressive may offer additional credits in the upcoming month
Verisk has expanded their Emergency Relief Policy to include civic emergencies, easing the financial burden on employees affected by the pandemic.
SVB Financial is allowing certain customers to defer principal payments on loans for up to six months.
Aetna is waving all co-pays for teladoc services, offering free medication delivery from CVS and sending out care packages to those diagnosed with coronavirus to help them recover at home and avoid exposing their loved ones
BlackRock is committing $50 million globally to help those immediately impacted by COVID-19.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will suspend foreclosures for the next 60 days.
Goldman Sachs, AMEX, and Capital One are providing interest payment relief for credit cardholders.
Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Bank of New York Mellon, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, State Street, and Wells Fargo have stopped all stock buybacks for the 2nd quarter in order to maintain their solvency and liquidity for customers during the outbreak.
United Healthcare is waiving cost sharing for COVID-19 testing as well as cost sharing for COVID-19 testing-related visits, regardless of whether the visit is received in a health care provider’s office, an urgent care center, an emergency department, or through a telehealth visit. This coverage applies to Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, and employer-sponsored plans.
Exelon Corporation and its family of companies announced today that they will donate more than $1.15 million to national and local relief organizations to support communities impacted by the spread of the coronavirus.
Tesla temporarily repurpose their electric vehicle and solar panel factories into assembly lines for hospital ventilators that are currently in short supply across the country.
Corning has donated thousands of 384-well microplates, tools laboratories use to screen drug compounds, to expedite the discovery of COVID-19 treatments.
Ford announced it will partner with 3M and GE Healthcare to provide face masks and ventilators.
To address growing demand of masks during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease, COVID-19, Honeywell is quickly ramping up production and making millions of the N95 masks in the United States.
Bloom Energy will refurbish the ventilators and Almo will ship them to and from Bloom’s manufacturing facilities in California and Delaware for refurbishment before shipment to state agencies and hospitals.
The United Auto Workers (UAW), General Motors Co., Ford Motor Company, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles are forming a COVID-19/Coronavirus Task Force to implement enhanced protections for manufacturing and warehouse employees at all three companies.
Eli Lilly has been offering drive-thru COVID-19 testing to Indianapolis-area healthcare workers, essential workers, and those most at risk of the disease, with the goal of expanding deeper across the state. In addition, it has joined a cross-industry collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to accelerate development, manufacturing and delivery of vaccines, diagnostics and treatments.
Bristol-Myers Squibb has implemented a mandatory work from home policy for its workforce. All employees, contingent workers, and contractors who can do their jobs from home must do so. Direction from local health and government authorities on this matter takes precedent in certain markets. The Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation has contributed more than $5 million in financial support and needed products (i.e., personal protection equipment) to relief efforts in affected areas around the world, including the US, Wuhan city and Hubei province (China), and the Lombardy region (Italy).
Not-For-Profit & Education
University of California President Napolitano issued updated guidance outlining expanded paid administrative leave to address the demands placed on UC employees and their families due to COVID-19. The executive order makes all employees eligible to receive a one-time allotment of up to 128 hours of paid administrative leave to be used by UC employees unable to work due to COVID-19.
Cushman & Wakefield have launched a Global Employee Assistance Fund as part of a $5 million dollar commitment to help those impacted by coronavirus.
Sports & Entertainment
MLB teams pledge $30 million to cover lost wages of ballpark workers affected by season postponement.
Technology, Telecom, and E-commerce
Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter and Square announced that he would move $1 billion of his own money into a limited liability company (LLC), where the funds would go, in part, to addressing the Covid-19 crisis.
Workday joined a collaborative of 25 companies to collectively raise $22 million to address the COVID-19 crisis. As part of this effort, Workday has donated a combined total of $1.5 million to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the United Nations Foundation.
PayPal is allowing people to defer payments at no additional cost, and waiving fees for instantly transferring funds from an account to the bank until April 30th.
Adobe is offering free distance learning for schools that have been impacted by coronavirus through May 31st.
Parker Hannifinhas is helping with front-line efforts to combat the spread of coronavirus and support its treatment globally. In response to the coronavirus outbreak, the company is stepping up to deliver technologies used in ventilators - engine filters and transmission components for heavy-duty trucks, and other technologies essential to people’s lives.
Microsoft will keep paying hourly workers who support their campus.
Google established a COVID-19 fund that enables all temporary staff and vendors globally to take paid sick leave if they have potential symptoms of COVID-19 or can’t come into work because they’re quarantined.
Apple is offering unlimited paid sick leave to any of its retail staff with coronavirus.
Comcast, Charter, Verizon, Google, T-Mobile, and Sprint have signed a pledge to keep Americans internet-connected for the next 60 days, even if people cannot afford to pay.
LinkedIn is offering 16 of its learning courses for free.
Loom, a video recording and sharing service, has made Loom Pro free for teachers and students at K-12 schools, universities, and educational institutions.
Amazon is hiring 100,000 more workers and giving raises to current staff to deal with coronavirus demands. (Note: Amazon is also raising pay for warehouse and delivery workers by $2 per hour in the US.) Further, Amazon said it was establishing a $5 million small business relief fund for businesses in the area of its Seattle headquarters. The company has also offered to deliver COVID-19 testing kits for free in the Seattle area.
UberEATS and DoorDash have waived commission fees for independent restaurant partners, while Postmates has launched a pilot program for small businesses that temporarily waives commission fees for businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Salesforce has created a $1.5 million coronavirus fund for affected citizens in San Francisco.
IBM, in partnership with The White House and the U.S. Department of Energy, has created a consortium to bring together the best supercomputers in the world—over 330 petaflops of capacity and counting—to accelerate the fight against COVID-19.