We at the Westhampton Free Library are all working from home. We are grateful that we are able to do so, and keep our benefits intact. Also we have protections in place, should we either be exposed to COVID-19 and are ordered to quarantine, or become ill.
There are many, however, in the midst of this COVID-19 outbreak, who have had their jobs eliminated and have no such protection.
Also there are many who work in essential industries, who are working long hours and are exposed to the public.
We felt it appropriate to shout out to one organization in an essential industry that is doing the right thing by their employees. I received this message from Home Depot and thought it appropriate to share this piece:
We’ve expanded our paid time off policy to address the needs of hourly associates to help alleviate some of the challenges they may be facing as a result of COVID-19. All hourly full-time associates received an additional 80 hours of paid time off, and part-time hourly associates received an additional 40 hours of paid time off.
Because the CDC identifies older Americans among those most at risk from COVID-19, associates who are 65 or older were given additional paid time off. Full-time hourly associates who are 65 or older received an additional 80 hours of paid time off (for a total of 160 hours of additional paid time off) and part-time hourly associates who are 65 or older received an additional 40 hours of paid time off (for a total of 80 hours of paid time off). This incremental PTO can be used anytime, for any reason, between now and the end of the year.
If associates are diagnosed with COVID-19 or advised by health or government officials to self-quarantine due to direct COVID-19 exposure, they’ll continue to be paid during that time. And as always, we’re encouraging associates who are sick to stay home.
To help support our associates, we’ve also implemented a temporary bonus program for all hourly associates working in stores and distribution centers. From March 23 through April 19, hourly associates who work more than 35 hours per week will receive an additional $100 per week, while hourly associates who work 20 to 35 hours per week will receive an additional $50 per week. This bonus program applies to full-time, part-time and seasonal positions, including new associates. We’re also offering double-time pay to hourly associates for overtime hours worked between March 25 and April 30.