Starbucks is implementing new plans for their employees in light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Employees who have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, or have been exposed to it, are eligible for 14 days of catastrophe pay.
Starbucks published an open letter to their partners, written by Executive Vice President and President of U.S. company-operated business and Canada, Rossann Williams. The letter outlined the precautions already taken by Starbucks locations including halting the use of reusable personal cups, sampling of products, and “for here” dishware. The letter went on to explain what the company will be doing for the safety of their employees.
The concern is that employees who are unable to go into work because of a diagnosis or exposure to the virus won’t get pay, but this new Starbucks initiative will ensure otherwise. Whether or not an individual is showing symptoms, Starbucks is allowing them to self-isolate in their homes.
Other employees who will be eligible for this offer are vulnerable populations, like those 60 years of age or older, and people with underlying conditions, including heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, weakened immune systems, and those who are pregnant. A doctor’s note is recommended for these individuals to receive their 14 days of catastrophe pay.
After those 14 days are up, Starbucks encourages employees to use their other benefits like sick pay, vacation pay, or personal time off, if they wish to extend their self isolation. Along with ensuring pay amidst the ever-changing news surrounding COVID-19, Starbucks also reminds their employees that the CUP Fund is an available resource available that helps to address mental health issues when employees are faced with unexpected financial challenges.
Overall, the hope is that the implementation of catastrophe pay will ensure individuals don’t have to choose to go into work even if they are not feeling well just to get paid. According to the letter, “At Starbucks, you should never have to choose between work and taking care of yourself.”
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