When Capitalism Meets Altruism

Stepping Up During COVID-19

By Emily Elmore | 27 March 2020

In an effort to stop the pandemic’s spread, the CDC warned us early to implement “social distancing” and to work remotely, if able. However, many workers aren’t able to implement these policies in their workplace, and if they get sick, many others don’t have access to paid sick leave or decent healthcare. Covid-19 has turned the spotlight on inadequate workplace policies, where workers can’t afford to stay home… but can’t afford to get sick either. This has proved to be a major barrier to effectively containing the pandemic.

Luckily, several companies are stepping up to do what they can to flatten the curve and take care of their workforce. Frankly, we could use good economic news, and we want to highlight a few movers and shakers. Big business can make a big impact, and we like that these titans take that seriously. We also know that thousands of small to mid-market size businesses are doing their very best to take care of their people and we hope you’ll share your story with us so we can highlight businesses of all types doing it right.

Starbucks

The coffee giant extended its “catastrophe pay” program, offering an additional 14 days of paid leave to anyone diagnosed with coronavirus. To combat the anxiety around the virus, they are also offering 20 free therapy sessions a year to all of its workers. This initiative was originally set to roll out in a few months, but they decided to start it early due to the pandemic. In their stores they implemented a ‘no dine-in’ policy, despite the hit to their bottom line, in order to reduce the places people can spread the virus. 

Microsoft

Not only is Microsoft helping the CDC with chatbot health technology and providing worldwide remote education initiatives, they confirmed they’re paying all their vendor hourly service providers regular wages even if their hours are reduced because of COVID-19. The company is also providing grants for researchers through their AI for Health program, to provide additional access to cloud services and high-performance computing capabilities.

Ally Bank

There’s a lot of financial uncertainty right now due to the virus, and Ally is deferring payments for auto and mortgage customers up to 120 days and is pledging $3 million in financial aid to local communities and organizations.

Google’s parent company, Alphabet

Like Microsoft, Alphabet is doing right by its workers, the public, and the government’s effort to contain the pandemic. They created a COVID-19 fund to provide sick leave to affected workers globally, including all temporary staff, contractors, and vendors. They also created a comprehensive resource for all things Covid-19, to provide people a verified source of information during this time. All one has to do is Google it. 

Big Retail: Walmart and Target

Walmart has deployed an Emergency Leave program, which provides time off for employees depending on various coronavirus threat levels. Employees who are diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed in quarantine will receive up to two weeks of pay. If they’re not able to return to work after that time, additional pay replacement may be provided for up to 26 weeks for both full-time and part-time hourly associates.

Meanwhile, Target has placed limits on certain products like toilet paper and sanitizer to avoid running out of stock. In addition to providing pay raises and bonuses for workers, the company also announced a new paid leave option for staff who have underlying health conditions or who are 65 or older. Under the plan, those employees will be able to take 30 days paid leave so they can stay home. When N95 masks mysteriously arrived at select Seattle Targets, they immediately diverted them to health care facilities in the area. 

Adobe

Offering free distance learning for schools that have been impacted by coronavirus through May 31st, Adobe is also providing Creative Cloud Suite free to everyone for two months. Creatives are expected to take an especially hard hit to the wallet in the wake of coronavirus. 

Internet Providers 

Verizon, Comcast, Charter, Google, and Sprint have signed a pledge to keep Americans internet-connected for the next 60 days, even if people cannot afford to pay. 

This list isn’t all-inclusive; there are so many businesses making a difference! We’re looking forward to providing you with a weekly recap of good business news centered around effective leadership and community.Want to give your business, boss or co-worker a shout? We want to hear how you’re supporting one another in the workplace. Hit us up at all things @letsnavit.

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