12 Things Companies Are Doing That’ll Make You Feel Better During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Now that the new coronavirus is a global pandemic and companies are adjusting to its ever-growing threat, some employers are doing more than just letting their employees work from home.

The companies below are showing they truly value their workers by making meaningful changes to help them manage the impact of the outbreak both personally and professionally.

One small suggestion: Perhaps some of these benefits can be retained after the outbreak, to help sick employees as they need them?

1. Shopify is giving employees $1,000 stipends to ease the transition to remote work

The company announced it would require all employees to work from home starting March 16. To help buy supplies, office materials and anything else they might need that they don’t already have at home, the multi-national e-commerce company has given a $1,000 stipend to each of their 5,000 employees worldwide.

2. Microsoft is continuing to pay hourly employees, even if they’re working fewer hours

On Thursday, March 12, the tech giant announced it would continue to pay its 4,500 hourly employees in its facilities, despite working fewer hours based on their requirements to work remotely. Microsoft has reported two employees have been infected by the virus. The company is headquartered in Redmond, Washington, located in King County, where there have been 270 cases of the virus as of Friday evening—including one death, King County officials reported.

3. Lyft, Twitter and Uber are also compensating part-time or hourly employees

The companies have all announced they’re offering non-full-time employees paid sick time off for those who might be out of work due to potential illnesses or self-quarantining.

4. Postmates is creating a fund for couriers to pay for doctor’s appointments and other medical expenses

The new Postmates Fleet Relief Fund covers the costs of couriers’ check-ups in 22 states, whether or not they’ve been diagnosed with or quarantined by COVID-19. The food delivery giant is also waiving restaurant commission fees for new merchants in impacted markets, helping small businesses stay afloat during this difficult time.

5. Starbucks is offering employees their catastrophe pay benefit

The iconic coffeehouse chain is giving workers paid leave they’re titling “catastrophe pay.” The benefit lets employees self-quarantine for up to 14 days if they’ve been exposed to the new coronavirus, are showing symptoms, or need to take care of others affected by it. Catastrophe pay has been implemented in the past for issues like floods, but the updated benefit expands to employees over 60, pregnant women, and those with underlying health conditions.

6. Web security company DNSFilter is offering its services for free

As more and more companies make the leap to remote working over the next few weeks, the cyber security company that specializes in preventing malware and phishing attacks has announced they’ll protect companies working remotely by offering their services free of charge to businesses through July 1, 2020.

7. The City of San Francisco gave workers advances on sick, vacation time

In an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus, San Francisco has offered city employees an advance on sick leave and vacation time to take care of loved ones or in case of self-quarantining. As of Friday afternoon, March 13, San Francisco County has reported 18 cases of the virus and zero deaths.

8. Facebook gave employees free Portal devices

To ease the transition to remote work, the tech giant is upgrading employees’ internet and gifting Portal video chat devices free of charge. The devices start at $129.

9. Walmart is waiving its attendance policy through the end of April

As a part of the company’s new emergency leave policy, employees who contract the coronavirus will receive up to two weeks of pay. After that, hourly associates who are unable to return to work will be eligible for up to 26 weeks of pay.

10. DoorDash and Instacart are offering paid sick leave to employees

The on-demand delivery companies are giving part-time employees and drivers 14 days of paid sick leave. DoorDash is giving the leave to any drivers diagnosed with the virus or who are being quarantined. Instacart is offering 14 days of paid leave to any shoppers or part-time employees diagnosed with the virus through April 7.

11. Amazon is establishing a relief fund to support contractors

The e-commerce tech company started a relief fund with an initial contribution of $25 million for contractors, like courier companies and drivers, Amazon Flex drivers, as well as seasonal employees who might have to miss work due to quarantine or taking care of a loved one. The company also offered two weeks of paid leave to employees affected by the virus.

12. Target waived absenteeism policy for employees

For workers who are experiencing flu-like symptoms or are affected by school or daycare closures, Target has waived their absenteeism policy. The chain, which employs about 350,000 people nationally, also implemented quarantine pay and confirmed illness pay, both for 14 days.

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