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Workforce Wire

Here's how every major workforce has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic

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Key Points
  • Employee paid-time-off policies are being revised.
  • Many workers at major U.S. companies are being instructed to work from home.
  • Stores, factories, offices and other workplaces and venues are being shut down temporarily.
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There was already a fundamental shift under way in the workforce as new technologies and thoughts on workplace culture started to change the way we work. The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated these changes at a nearly unimaginable pace. The Workforce Wire is tailored news and information specifically for employers and executives to keep track of what companies are doing with regard to their workforce to help leaders navigate through this unprecedented time.

Amazon extends work-from-home plan until Oct. 2

A worker assembles a box for delivery at the Amazon fulfillment center in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S., April 30, 2019.
Clodagh Kilcoyne | Reuters
  • Amazon.com has told staff whose job can be done from home that they can do so until at least Oct. 2, pushing out the timeline on a return to work for many employees.
  • "Employees who work in a role that can effectively be done from home are welcome to do so until at least October 2," an Amazon spokesman said in an emailed statement on Friday, adding it was applicable to such roles globally. The statement did not specify how much of the company's overall workforce that would pertain to or specifically which roles.
  • Separately, the tech giant said it plans to spend all of its profit for the second quarter of this year — an estimated $4 billion — on its response to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Some of the $4 billion will be spent on higher wages for workers, personal protective equipment, better cleaning protocols at facilities and "less efficient process paths" that will allow for social distancing.

Union reports Covid-19 cases at meatpacking plant more than doubled 'in a number of days' 

  • Covid-19 cases at a JBS meatpacking plant in Colorado have more than doubled "in a number of days" and a sixth employee died of the virus, a union official said on Thursday, according to a Reuters report. This news underscores the risks of U.S. meat plants reopening.
  • The beef plant in Greeley, Colorado, started operating April 24 after it was closed for about two weeks following an outbreak among workers.
  • Confirmed cases among workers at the plant rose from 120 on April 26 to 245 on the evening of April 29, a union spokeswoman told Reuters, citing numbers from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Uber CTO announces resignation, company reportedly considering layoffs 

A man holds up a smartphone with the Uber app visible on screen, as taxis queue in the background on June 4, 2019.
Olly Curtis | Future via Getty Images
  • Uber Technologies' chief technology officer, Thuan Pham, the ride-hailing company's longest-serving executive, is resigning effective May 17.
  • Members of Uber's engineering team will perform Pham's duties until the company finds a permanent CTO. 
  • Separately, according to the website The Information, Uber is considering layoffs as it copes with a sharp decline in its ride-hailing business due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The report says that as much as 20% of Uber's workforce, or about 5,400 workers, may be affected. 

LabCorp withdraws 2020 guidance as coronavirus outbreak cuts demand; will furlough workers, delay hiring

  • LabCorp on Wednesday reported a net loss for the first quarter as the coronavirus pandemic drove up costs and cut demand, prompting the company to withdraw 2020 guidance. 
  • The company, which manufactures diagnostic tests, said the coronavirus outbreak drove a 50% to 55% plummet in demand for testing services at the end of the quarter from the year earlier period. That hit to demand was "marginally offset by an increase in demand for Covid-19 tests," the company said, adding that the drop in volume appears to have stabilized.
  • To mitigate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, LabCorp said it is scaling back expenditures and suspending its stock buyback program. It said it's also furloughing workers, delaying hiring, reducing contractors and suspending 401(k) contributions for all U.S. employees.
  • The company said it is looking to utilize available federal stimulus programs.

Ford to restart European manufacturing production with enhanced employee protection protocols in place 

  • Ford is planning to restart vehicle and engine production at most of its main manufacturing sites in Continental Europe in a phased approach beginning May 4.
  • To protect its returning workforce, Ford global standards on social distancing and health and safety protocols are being implemented.
  • The company is also making its own face masks to protect employees across Europe and is providing employees with "personal-care kits."
  • The production restart plan supports Ford dealer sales sites reopening in key markets and are subject to national movement restrictions.

Nearly 350K Nevada workers have filed for unemployment amid hotel and casino shutdowns

  • According to data from Applied Analysis, a Las Vegas-based economic research firm, nearly 350,000 workers in Nevada — a jobless rate of about 25% — have filed for unemployment benefits since the coronavirus crisis began escalating, in mid-March.
  • The state's local economy is largely dependent on the leisure and hospitality industry, which provide jobs that largely can't be done remotely.
  • Casino operators such as Wynn, MGM Las Vegas and Sands Resorts all have announced layoffs and furloughs.

AutoNation will return $77 million in forgivable PPP loans after furloughing 7,000 employees

  • AutoNation, the largest U.S. auto dealership chain, will return $77 million it received in forgivable loans from the Paycheck Protection Program.
  • Marc Cannon, a spokesman for the company, told Reuters that AutoNation was "clearly eligible and applied on behalf of the 7,000 employees furloughed caused by the COVID-19 crisis."
  • The decision to return federal funds came after the Small Business Administration issued new guidance for the program and those applying for aid.

Stanford Health Care to furlough workers, cut wages 20%

  • Stanford Health Care employees, including doctors and nurses on the front lines of the Covid-19 pandemic, will see a 20% pay cut for 10 weeks starting April 27.
  • The pay reductions will apply to all employees at Stanford Hospital, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford and, in the East Bay, Stanford-ValleyCare.
  • According to Palo Alto Online, employees can choose to lose pay but continue to work full-time, work fewer hours while taking paid time off in full-day increments, or work fewer hours but take up to 96 hours of flex time as time off. If they are not eligible, they can take unpaid time off. The hospital will offer tips on how to file for unemployment insurance.
  • Addressing Stanford executives in an open letter, 16 employees said they are dismayed by the hospital's actions. "Stanford Health Care is now turning its back on front-line health care workers and refusing to acknowledge our input when it comes to furloughs. Your refusal to work collaboratively and negotiate is extremely disrespectful to all of us who have been coming to work every day, often without proper protection, putting our lives at risk to care for patients," they wrote.
  • Additionally, the letter read, "You've presented your furlough plan as a 'shared sacrifice' as if this extreme measure has the same impact on the CEO who makes over $3 million/year and a housekeeper or a nursing assistant who struggle to pay rent and feed our family in the Silicon Valley on $60,000 or $70,000 a year. This shows a stark lack of empathy and understanding for the reality of our lives."

Zillow allowing employees to work from home for rest of 2020

Scott Eells | Bloomberg | Getty Images
  • Zillow has announced that it's allowing its more than 5,000 employees to continue working from home throughout the rest of the year.
  • "My personal opinions about WFH have been turned upside down over the past 2 months," CEO Rich Barton tweeted Friday. "I expect this will have a lasting influence on the future of work ... and home. Stay safe."

Meredith cuts pay for 60% of workforce, citing decline in ad revenue

  • Meredith Corp. has announced it will reduce pay for 60% of Meredith's 5,000 employees, citing a "significant" decline in advertising revenue.
  • While the company's highest-paid employees received cuts ranging from 20% to 40%, about 45% of the remaining staff will see a 15% pay cut, all of which will take effect from May 4 to Sept. 4. Employees taking a pay cut will receive one day of paid leave per week for the four-month period.
  • Additionally, wages, salaries and hiring will be frozen, and Meredith's use of freelancers is being reduced.
  • "The Covid-19 crisis has created an extremely challenging business environment, including significant advertising campaign cancellations and delays," said CEO Tom Harty. "While our financial position is strong, given the impact on advertising — which represents approximately half of our revenue mix — we are proactively taking aggressive actions to strengthen our liquidity and enhance our financial flexibility in the near-term to effectively navigate the current environment."

Annapurna Pictures lays off CFO James Pong and other executives

  • According to Variety, Annapurna Pictures has laid off CFO James Pong, two film executives, two television executives and two assistants, all seven of which represent nearly 10% of the company's staff.
  • An Annapurna spokesperson confirmed to Variety a "modest number of layoffs due to the current economic climate." In addition to these layoffs, senior leadership will also take pay cuts, joining a long list of media and entertainment companies who have been negatively affected by Covid-19.

US car-rental company Hertz to lay off 10,000 staff

  • U.S. car-rental company Hertz said on Monday it plans to lay off 10,000 employees across its North America operations to cut costs amid the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Reuters.
  • Hertz had about 38,000 employees as of Dec. 31, 2019, of which 29,000 were at its U.S. operations.
  • The company, which counts billionaire investor Carl Icahn as its largest shareholder, will incur employee termination costs of about $30 million, it said in a regulatory filing. 

Disney halts pay for over 100,000 employees

The entrance to the Magic Kingdom at Disney World is seen on the first day of closure as theme parks in the Orlando area suspend operations for two weeks in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Paul Hennessy | SOPA Images | LightRocket via Getty Images
  • Walt Disney will stop paying more than 100,000 employees this week, nearly half of its workforce.
  • Suspending pay for thousands will save Disney up to $500 million a month across its theme parks and hotels, which have been shut in Europe and the U.S. for almost five weeks.
  • Disney will provide full health-care benefits for staff placed on unpaid leave.
  • From April 19 onward, the company is urging employees to apply for the extra $600 a week of federal support available through the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package.

Walmart will require all associates to wear masks or other face coverings at work

People wearing masks and gloves wait to enter a Walmart on April 17, 2020 in Uniondale, New York.
Al Bello
  • Walmart and Sam's Club will require their approximately 1.5 million U.S.-based associates to wear masks or other face coverings beginning on Monday, according to a memo sent by the CEOs of Walmart U.S. and Sam's Club, a Walmart division. 
  • The retailers will also encourage customers to wear face coverings, according to the memo, dated Friday.
  • The memo says that employees could bring their own face covering or use one provided by the company. The company will also extend its emergency leave policy through the end of May. 
  • Walmart is the largest private employer in the United States.

Amazon deploys thermal cameras at warehouses to scan for fevers faster

  • Amazon.com has started to use thermal cameras at its warehouses to speed up screening for feverish workers who could be infected with the coronavirus, according to a report by Reuters.
  • The cameras in effect measure how much heat people emit relative to their surroundings. They require less time and contact than forehead thermometers, earlier adopted by Amazon, the workers said.
  • Cases of the virus have been reported among staff at more than 50 of Amazon's U.S. warehouses. That has prompted some workers to worry for their safety and walk off the job. Unions and elected officials have called on Amazon to close buildings down.
  • Amazon confirmed that some warehouses have implemented the systems to streamline checks. The company said in a statement that it is taking temperatures "to support the health and safety of our employees, who continue to provide a critical service in our communities."

Southwest Airlines reportedly pushing unions to consider long-term concessions due to collapse in demand

  • Southwest Airlines is reportedly pushing unions that represent pilots, flight attendants and mechanics to consider long-term concessions due to the collapse in demand, according to a Reuters report.
  • Russell McCrady, vice president of labor relations, says that the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic is "beyond anything we've ever experienced," adding that Southwest has discussed potential union changes that would be adopted in October, should the industry fail to recover.

Tim Cook: Apple 'isn't immune to worldwide economic trends'

Apple CEO Tim Cook greets employees and customers on a surprise visit to the Georgetown Apple store in Washington, DC.
Jabin Botsford | The Washington Post | Getty Images
  • Bloomberg reports that Apple CEO Tim Cook told employees the company "isn't immune to worldwide economic trends" in a virtual closed-door meeting to discuss the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • When asked about layoffs, Cook emphasized Apple's strong financial position going into the crisis and pointed out that the company has continued to pay its retail workers despite the closing of physical stores. "I won't tell you Apple won't be impacted," he added.
  • Cook went on to stress that the tech giant will continue to invest heavily in research and development.

WWE furloughs staff, reduces executive pay

  • In an effort to reduce costs, the WWE says it will furlough many employees and slash the compensation of executives and board members, according to a recent company statement.
  • "The decision to furlough versus permanently reduce headcount reflects the fact that the Company currently believes the furlough will be temporary in nature," the WWE's statement said.
  • The company also said that it will cut talent expenses and cancel third-party staffing arrangements, despite resuming live wrestling matches this week, televised on Fox and USA.

ServiceNow pledges to protect its global workforce, commits to no layoffs for 2020

Bill McDermott, CEO of ServiceNow.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
  • "We want our employees focused on supporting our customers, not worried about their own jobs," said ServiceNow's CEO Bill McDermott. "We are committed to no layoffs for 2020." McDermott added that the company is continuing to hire worldwide.
  • ServiceNow says it will protect the salaries of several hundred support staff and contract workers who are out of work while offices remain closed.
  • In addition to protecting its workers, the company says it expects to create and fill more than 1,000 new jobs in the U.S. by the end of 2020 and onboard approximately 360 college interns worldwide for a digital summer program.

Opendoor lays off more than 600 employees in another blow to SoftBank-backed companies

  • Homebuying start-up Opendoor has laid off more than 600 employees, which amounts to 35% of its total staff, according to CEO Eric Wu.
  • In a company statement, Wu said that workers affected would receive two months of severance pay and four months of reimbursement for health-care coverage, adding that he and other Opendoor executives would also be donating to an employee relief fund.
  • According to The Information, these layoffs are "one of the deepest cuts from a private tech firm since the coronavirus outbreak sent the economy into a tailspin."

Royal Caribbean reduces US workforce by 26% as cruise cancellations continue

This is a file photo showing Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.'s Quantum-class cruise ship, the Anthem of the Sea, as it sits moored at the Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, Oct. 6, 2015.
Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images
  • Royal Caribbean is reducing its U.S. workforce by over 26%, more than half of which are located in South Florida, according to the Miami Herald.
  • "We are in discussions with our employees today about the impact of the pandemic on our business," a company spokesman confirmed. "We want to speak directly with our employees first and will have further comment as details become available."
  • Most of the reductions are permanent layoffs, though the Herald reports that some are 90-day furloughs with paid benefits.

Cinemark furloughs half of staff, lays off 17,500 hourly workers

  • In an SEC filing that followed a $250 million debt offering, Cinemark Holdings revealed that the theater chain has laid off over 17,500 hourly employees amid theater closures caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • According to The Hollywood Reporter, Cinemark also furloughed 50% of corporate employees at its Plano, Texas, headquarters at 20% of salary but with full benefits.
  • Additionally, the salaries of remaining company employees have been cut in half.

Layoffs and furloughs hit LA Times, Valence Media

  • The Los Angeles Times has said it will furlough a number of business-side workers and cut pay for senior managers as advertising revenue has been "nearly eliminated." The company will also suspend its 401(k) match for non-union workers, according to a company memo sent by Chris Argentieri, president of the California Times.
  • According to Variety, Valence Media also began layoffs at brand-owned operations like The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, Dick Clark Productions and Media Rights Capital. These layoffs are believed to include editorial employees, as well as staffers in other departments.

KIND Healthy Snacks partners with Project N95 to launch platform to help front-line health-care workers

  • The KIND Foundation and Project N95 on Tuesday launched the Frontline Impact Project, a platform whereby health-care institutions and other front-line response organizations can request resources to help meet their biggest needs during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The partnership between KIND and Project N95 will provide the thousands of health-care facilities already in the Project 95 network with the opportunity to request donations "in the areas of nourishment, lodging, transportation, among others," according to a statement by KIND Healthy Snacks.
  • The KIND Foundation has committed up to $1 million toward these efforts, in addition to 5 million KIND bars, which will be distributed to those working on the front lines.

Groupon announces cost-cutting layoffs and furloughs

Groupon Inc. signage is displayed at company headquarters in Chicago, Illinois
Tim Boyle | Bloomberg | Getty Images
  • Groupon said it expects to lay off or furlough roughly 2,800 workers as it faces declining consumer demand for its local services amid coronavirus restrictions.
  • The furloughs are part of a cost-cutting effort that includes a hiring freeze, eliminating merit raises, eliminating cash compensation for non-executive board directors and reducing marketing expense by significantly shortening payback thresholds and delaying brand marketing investments.
  • This may not be the end of workforce reductions, according to the Chicago-based daily deals site.
  • For the quarter ended March 31, Groupon projects revenue around $345 million to $385 million, compared with the $578.4 million the company reported in last year's first quarter.

Fidelity announces plans to accelerate the hiring of approximately 2,000 people

  • Fidelity Investments has announced plans to accelerate the hiring of approximately 2,000 U.S. workers, the vast majority of which will fulfill roles as financial consultants and customer service representatives.
  • "We have seen unprecedented engagement from our individual clients ... all of whom are turning to Fidelity to help them navigate this challenging environment," said Kathy Murphy, president of Personal Investing. "To ensure we continue to provide this strong support to clients, we are stepping up and hiring advisors and other financial professionals to continue helping them navigate their financial lives."

Cisco jobs are safe: CEO Chuck Robbins

  • In an interview with Bloomberg, Cisco Systems CEO Chuck Robbins said that he has told staff not to worry about losing their jobs. He also urged other companies with the financial wherewithal to absorb coronavirus losses to follow his example.
  • "We're actively involved in the community trying to help people who've been impacted by this, why would we contribute to the problem?" Robbins said.

BlackRock says no layoffs, commits to full pay  

  • BlackRock, the world's largest money manager, says it will not lay of any workers this year, despite the ongoing fallout from the coronavirus outbreak, according to CEO Larry Fink.
  • Fink also said that the world's largest asset manager will commit to giving full-time pay to support staff even if they are unable to come to work.

Restaurant software provider Toast cuts 50% of staff

  • Toast, a provider of point-of-sale software to the restaurant industry is cutting about 50% of its staff — or 1,300 employees — as the coronavirus forces eateries across the country to close.
  • The start-up raised $400 million in February at a valuation of almost $5 billion after revenue more than doubled last year. But as cities from San Francisco to New York imposed shelter-in-place orders last month, restaurants were only able to serve food via delivery and takeout, which proved a harsh blow to the growing company.

Struggling SoftBank-backed Oyo furloughs thousands

An OYO Rooms logo seen displayed on a smartphone.
SOPA Images | LightRocket | Getty Images
  • Oyo, the Indian lodging start-up backed by SoftBank, is indefinitely furloughing thousands of its global employees in countries excluding India, adding that it's not considering job cuts at this time. The company did not specify the number of furloughed employees.
  • Founder Ritesh Agarwal told employees that tough decisions are necessary at this time of uncertainty, and assured workers that the start-up would not make any job cuts "despite significant economic pressures" to do so.
  • According to Bloomberg, the SoftBank-backed company has $1 billion of cash in the bank and is "exploring options to remain viable over at least the next 36 months."

Tesla to furlough hourly workers, slash employee pay

Tesla vehicles stand outside of a Brooklyn showroom and service center on August 27, 2018 in New York City.
Spencer Platt | Getty Images
  • Tesla will cut pay for all of its salaried employees and will furlough hourly workers until May 4, when it intends to resume production of electric cars, according to an internal email that multiple employees shared with CNBC.
  • The pay reductions are expected to be in place until the end of the second quarter.
  • Health orders, implemented to curb the spread of COVID-19, forced Elon Musk's electric-car company to wind down production at its main vehicle assembly plant in Fremont, California.

Retailers Dick's Sporting Goods and Party City to furlough workers

  • Dick's Sporting Goods announced that it will furlough an unspecified number of workers starting April 12.
  • The retailer said it will pay workers through April 11 and provide benefits through the furlough.
  • Party City announced it was furloughing 90% of its store employees and 70% of those who work in other functions.
  • Like Dick's Sporting Goods, Party City says its furloughed employees' health benefits will continue. 

Nissan's manufacturing facilities to close through April, impacting 10,000 US workers

  • Nissan has said that its manufacturing facilities throughout the U.S. will remain closed through April due to the fallout from the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • As a result, the auto manufacturer is implementing temporary layoffs that will impact roughly 10,000 workers, to help manage the business where activity is reduced.
  • Affected employees will be eligible to apply for government support, such as enhanced unemployment benefits.

SpaceX coronavirus cases rise to six employees

Elon Musk, chief executive officer of Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) and Tesla Inc., speaks during an event at the SpaceX launch facility in Cameron County, Texas, U.S., on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019.
Bronte Wittpenn | Bloomberg | Getty Images
  • As of Monday, six SpaceX employees have tested positive for COVID-19, according to an internal company memo seen by CNBC.
  • Like others in the aerospace industry, the company had previously limited the number of employees who were showing up to work at its facilities, due to the rapid spread of the virus.
  • Nonetheless, SpaceX operations have continued after the company was deemed "mission essential" by the Department of Defense.

Boeing shuts down facilities in South Carolina, halting production of commercial airplanes

  • Boeing said it will temporarily shut down production at its 787 facilities in South Carolina after the governor issued a stay-at-home order to stop the spread of coronavirus throughout the state. The South Carolina operation is one of two sites that make Boeing's Dreamliner jets.
  • This follows a previous announcement by the company that it will indefinitely extend a shutdown of commercial airplane factories in the Seattle area, which is home to the bulk of its workforce.
  • Boeing said that staff who cannot work remotely will be paid for 10 days of work and can also file for unemployment benefits and use paid time off during this time. Additionally, the company said that employee benefits will continue "as normal" during this interruption in manufacturing. 
  • The virus has already infected about 100 Boeing employees, according to a company spokesperson. 

Spirit extends suspension of work on Boeing programs

  • Following Boeing's announcement to indefinitely suspend production at its sites in Washington, Spirit AeroSystems will also extend its suspension of work on Boeing commercial programs at Tulsa and McAlester, Oklahoma; San Antonio, Texas; and Wichita, Kansas.
  • To address the financial challenges presented by Boeing's continued suspension, Spirit is implementing temporary workforce furloughs at these sites.
  • All U.S-based executives and Spirit's board of directors will take a 20% reduction in pay until further notice.

In reversal, Apple says it will commit to paying contractors out of work

  • Hundreds of Apple contract workers were recently told that they would be suspended without pay as more are told to stay home and off of the tech giant's Silicon Valley campus.
  • On Monday a company spokeswoman reversed that claim, committing Apple to a plan that will pay its hourly workers, such as janitors, drivers and hundreds of other contractors who perform day-to-day functions on campus, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
  • The tech giant has more than $200 billion in cash and cash equivalents that will aid in getting payments to those contractors.
  • Apple CEO Tim Cook had previously said Apple employees would continue to receive pay throughout the crisis but did not specify at the time whether hourly contract workers would also continue to receive pay.

Google, Facebook offer paid leave to parents affected by school closures

  • Google and Facebook are offering large blocks of emergency leave to parents struggling to deal with disruptions to their family schedules, according to the Los Angeles Times.
  • At Google, employees taking care of children or family members are being offered two weeks off without dipping into their paid leave following the closure of any school or care facility.
  • Facebook is offering four weeks to employees who are facing unexpected caregiving needs, and an additional six weeks of emergency-care leave for employees who need to take time to take care of any family members who fall ill or are dealing with other medical conditions.
  • The new Facebook and Google benefits do not apply to contractors, who make up a large percentage of their workforces. 

Caterpillar withholds annual salary increases and bonuses

An employee assembles an excavator at the Caterpillar Inc. manufacturing facility in Victoria, Texas.
Callaghan O'Hare | Bloomberg | Getty Images
  • Caterpillar will withhold annual salary increases for executives, managers and salaried employees, in an effort to tighten expenses amid the coronavirus outbreak.
  • The company also said in a memo that it will not pay bonuses to eligible employees next year. 

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts pledges $500 million for employees

  • Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said Wednesday the nation's largest cable provider and owner of NBCUniversal has committed $500 million to support employees as coronavirus quarantines temporarily shut down business units.
  • In an email to employees, Roberts said Comcast would put aside that amount for pay and benefits for employees "where operations have been paused or impacted."
  • He also said he would join Comcast's senior executives — CFO Mike Cavanagh, Comcast Cable CEO Dave Watson, NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell and Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch — in donating 100% of their salaries to charities to support coronavirus relief efforts.
  • Comcast has seen its broadband usage spike as Americans largely stay at home during COVID-19 quarantines.

Home Depot institutes new safety measures and increases PTO

Workers walk through the garden center at a Home Depot store
Scott Olson/Getty Images
  • The home improvement retailer said it will institute new safety measures in response to the coronavirus outbreak, including earlier store closures and limiting the number of customers allowed into stores at one time.
  • Home Depot stores will now close at six p.m., which will allow the retailer to keeps its shelves stocked and ramp up sanitizing efforts.
  • The company has also increased paid time off (PTO) for its hourly workers. Hourly full-time associates will receive an additional 80 hours of PTO, hourly part-time associates an additional 40 hours, and for hourly workers over the age of 65, an additional 160 hours will be given to full-time employees and an additional 80 to part-time employees.
  • The company has also said that any worker diagnosed with COVID-19 and anyone directed to self-quarantine will be paid during that period.

American Airlines plans to apply for coronavirus aid, offers partial pay for employee leave

  • American Airlines on Monday said it will apply for government aid to soften the blow from a record drop in travel demand. The carrier is also offering partial pay to entice workers off its payroll.
  • The Fort Worth, Texas-based airline said it expects about $12 billion of the $50 billion set aside for airlines in a sweeping coronavirus relief bill Congress passed last week.
  • The aid includes $25 billion in grants for passenger airlines in exchange for not furloughing or cutting the pay rates of their employees through Sept. 30. The other half is in loans.
  • American is also making voluntary leaves of absence and early retirements partially paid, an attempt to get more workers to sign up. American and other carriers had been offering voluntary unpaid leave to try to lower costs.
  • Mainline American employees, except for pilots, could receive 25% of their pay for leaves of up to 12 months. They would continue to receive medical benefits. Employees who have been with American for 10 years can receive half of their pay for 12 months. 

Fiat Chrysler temporarily cuts pay by 20% for salaried workers

  • Fiat Chrysler will temporarily defer the salaries of its white-collar workers by 20% for the next three months as the automaker attempts to save cash to weather the coronavirus crisis.
  • The pay cuts, according to a Monday letter from CEO Mike Manley obtained by CNBC, will begin Wednesday. Manley also will take a 50% cut in his salary and members of the Group Executive Council (GEC), the company's highest executive decision-making body, will all take 30% salary cuts, according to the letter.
  • Fiat Chrysler Chairman John Elkann and the rest of the automaker's board also have unanimously agreed to forgo their remaining 2020 compensation.
  • The salary cuts for the white-collar workers are expected to be repaid no later than March 15 of next year. They are expected to impact most of the automaker's salaried workforce globally.

Gap to furlough most store employees, cut corporate jobs

Pedestrians pass in front of a GAP store in New York.
Scott Mlyn | CNBC
  • Gap announced that it will furlough most of its store employees.
  • The plan will affect nearly 80,000 out of 129,000 employees across all brands, including Banana Republic and Old Navy. The furloughed workers will continue to collect health benefits.
  • According to a press release, the retailer has also announced that it will reduce headcount across its corporate functions around the world.
  • In addition, the entire Gap leadership team along with the Board of Directors will take a temporary reduction in pay.

Yum Brands CEO to forgo 2020 salary to fund general manager bonuses

  • Yum Brands said Monday that CEO David Gibbs will forgo the rest of his base salary in 2020 to fund one-time $1,000 bonuses to the company's nearly 1,200 restaurant general managers across KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and The Habit Burger Grill. 
  • His salary will also help fund the Yum Brands Foundation Global Employee Medical Relief Fund, according to a regulatory filing. The fund will provide financial hardship grants to those directly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, including company and franchise restaurant employees. Yum plans to also accept donations to the fund.
  • Gibbs stood to make $900,000 from his salary this year, excluding any performance-based bonuses.

La-Z-Boy furloughs workers, cuts management and salaried worker pay

  • La-Z-Boy furloughed 6,800 workers.
  • The furniture maker also cut the pay of senior management by 50%, and of salaried workers by 25%.
  • La-Z-Boy announced that it also eliminated its June dividend and stopped its share repurchase program indefinitely.

Cheesecake Factory furloughs 41,000 hourly employees, cuts corporate employee pay by 10% to 20%

A view of the Cheesecake Factory at the Short Hills Mall on March 18, 2020 in Millburn, New Jersey.
Elsa | Getty Images
  • The restaurant chain is furloughing about 41,000 hourly workers and cutting pay for corporate employees by 10% to 20% as it struggles to pay rent and continues negotiations with various landlords about its obligations.
  • Longtime chairman and CEO David Overton wrote in a letter to landlords, "Due to these extraordinary events, I am asking for your patience, and frankly, your help."

SoftBank-backed Getaround lays off 100 U.S.-based employees

  • Getaround, the struggling car rental start-up backed by SoftBank, has said it will lay off about 100 U.S.-based employees due to a sharpening decline in consumer mobility.
  • The cuts are the second round of layoffs at the company this year, resulting in a workforce of about half what it was in January.

Tesla cuts 75% of on-site staff at Nevada factory

  • The U.S. electric carmaker plans to slash its on-site workforce in Nevada by around 75%, due to the coronavirus pandemic. The factory produces electric motors and battery packs for Tesla's Model 3 sedans.
  • According to Reuters, Tesla said last week it would temporarily suspend production at its vehicle factory in San Francisco beginning March 23, as well as at its New York solar roof-tile factory.
  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the company will reopen the New York plant "as soon as humanly possible" to manufacture ventilators for coronavirus patients.

AMC Entertainment furloughs CEO Adam Aron, all corporate employees

"Theater Closed" signs are posted in front of the AMC
Frederic J. Brown | AFP | Getty Images
  • AMC Entertainment, the world's largest theater operator, says it has furloughed CEO Adam Aron and all corporate employees at the company's headquarters in Leawood, Kansas, in an effort to stay afloat amid the ongoing fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Last week AMC shuttered its 1,000 locations around the world to help prevent the ongoing spread of the virus.
  • A company spokesperson said that AMC's furlough will extend for the "hopefully short period of time" that all of its theaters are closed, during which employees will retain health benefits.
  • The company says that the decision was "absolutely necessary" in order to ensure AMC can reopen alongside other businesses when the public health crisis dissipates.

Andreessen Horowitz-backed start-up Wonderschool lays off 75% of staff via Zoom

  • Wonderschool, a childcare start-up backed by legendary VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, says it has laid of 75% of its staff, or about 50 people, via a Zoom call. These layoffs follow a 25% cut to the start-up's workforce this past November.
  • The San Francisco-based company cited the impact of shelter-in-place orders on its business, adding that the coronavirus pandemic could also freeze any funding opportunities for two years.
  • Private market funding is already down more than 16% compared to last quarter, according to research from CB Insights.

StubHub furloughs as much as two-thirds of its workforce

  • Following the postponements and cancellations of hundreds of sporting events and concerts, the ticketing giant has become one of the first to make significant cuts to its workforce as the live entertainment industry continues to take a hit.
  • According to ESPN, StubHub would not provide specifics on the number of people furloughed, but an internal email cites that the company "furloughed as much as 67% of their workforce," which leaves less than 150 staffers who will remain on payroll until "at least June" as many continue assessing the fallout from the virus. 

BuzzFeed slashes employee pay, CEO foregoes salary

  • According to the Daily Beast, the media company announced a graduated salary reduction for the majority of employees, some of whom will see a nearly 25% pay cut.
  • Staffers that make under $65,000 annually would experience a 5% pay reduction; staffers making between $65,000 and $99,000 annually would experience a 7% pay reduction. Other staff would take a pay reduction of nearly 10%, while executives could see between a 14% and 25% pay reduction.
  • CEO Jonah Peretti also confirmed that he will forego his salary as a result of the coronavirus, which has hit publishers hard as advertising revenue declines.

What the coronavirus bill means for unemployment benefits, gig workers

  • A coronavirus relief bill unveiled Tuesday would significantly expand unemployment benefits for Americans who lose their jobs due to the country's recent economic contagion. 
  • The measure would beef up the nation's unemployment insurance program, a state-administered program that provides temporary income support for out-of-work Americans. Final language could change before the bill's scheduled release later today, though experts don't expect it will relative to unemployment.
  • Under the legislation, unemployed workers would both collect bigger unemployment checks — which could, in some cases, even exceed their typical wages — and receive those payments over a longer period of time.
  • The legislation would also extend benefits to a broader pool of people, like gig workers and freelancers.

Starbucks CEO says the company is committed to paying its workforce for the next 30 days

Kevin Johnson, CEO, Starbucks
Scott Mlyn | CNBC
  • Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" that the coffee giant will continue paying its workforce for the next 30 days as "stay-at-home" orders remain in effect for many around the world, due to the coronavirus outbreak.
  • The company has reopened over 95% of stores in China, including sites in Wuhan and the Hubei province, which CNBC's Jim Cramer points to as evidence that the coronavirus outbreak has indeed slowed in China.
  • Starbucks employs 191,000 people in the U.S., approximately 183,000 of which work in company-operated stores and another 8,000 of which work in support facilities, store development facilities, and roasting, manufacturing, warehousing and distribution operations.

SoftBank-backed real estate start-up Compass lays off 15% of staff

  • Compass, the SoftBank-backed real estate brokerage start-up, has laid off 15% of its staff as a result of the ongoing economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak. The layoffs are being accompanied by an 80% reduction to its concierge unit, which is a contracted suit of home improvement service providers.
  • Founder and CEO Robert Reffkin said that the company has seen a 60% decline in real estate showings and projects a 50% decline in revenue over the next six months. Reffkin also said that he will be foregoing his own salary and cutting the salaries of his executive team by 25%.
  • The company has said that laid off employees will be given "enhanced severance and COBRA health insurance." Additionally, the company will offer assistance to those now job-seeking employees, in the form of various training and networking tools.

Mondelēz International raises hourly wages and offers bonus to workers

  • Food maker, Mondelez says it will increase hourly wages by $2 and will pay $125 weekly bonus for sales representatives from today through May 2nd.
  • These benefits will go to the more than 10,000 workers who are making, selling and distributing products to retail partners across the country.
  • The company also said in a press release that any impacted U.S.-based employees will receive up to two additional weeks of paid leave at 100% of pay.
  • Mondelez also announced that it will hire 1,000 workers to deal with a surge in demand for food and household products. The company encourages individuals who may been displaced by the closing of other businesses to apply for the positions.

Instacart plans to hire 300,000 contract workers as delivery demand mounts

A shopper for Instacart navigates through the aisles as she shops for a customer.
Cyrus McCrimmon | Denver Post | Getty Images
  • On-demand grocery delivery company Instacart announced that it is looking to hire 300,000 "full-service shoppers" over the next three months to keep up with the demand from consumers in at-home quarantine — double its current workforce of 140,000 contract workers and 12,000 in-store shoppers.
  • Instacart has said it will provide paid sick leave to workers diagnosed with coronavirus or in mandated self-quarantine, as concerns regarding the ongoing health and safety of delivery and gig workers continue to mount.
  • According to CNN Business, the company also recently announced that customer ratings would not impact the access that contracted shoppers have to future order requests during the pandemic. This follows reports that some Instacart workers were receiving an influx of low ratings from customers due to factors outside their control as a result of the ongoing public health crisis. 

BJ's Wholesale Club increases wages and bonuses for frontline team members

  • BJ's Wholesale Club announced that it will be increasing wages and bonuses for "frontline team members" at their 218 clubs across the country.
  • All hourly team members in the company's clubs, distribution centers and home office will earn an additional $2 per hour beginning March 23 through at least April 12.
  • At the end of March, the company also says that its "managers and key personnel" in the clubs and distribution centers will receive a onetime bonus ranging from $500 to $1,000.
  • BJ's previously issued an emergency paidleave policy to support team members in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which included "pay for up to 14 days when under mandated quarantine" and "pay through a mix of accrued sick time and company paid time if a team member tests positive for coronavirus and needs to self-quarantine."

Netflix pledges $100 million to out-of-work production crews and cast members

In this photo illustration the Netflix logo is seen displayed on a smartphone.
Rafael Henrique | SOPA Images | Getty Images
  • Netflix recently announced that it has set up a $100 million relief fund for cast and crew members working on studio productions that have been halted by the coronavirus outbreak.
  • Aside from providing relief to its own productions, Netflix also said that $15 million will go to "third parties and non-profits providing emergency relief to out-of-work crew and cast in the countries where we have a large production base."
  • According to The Hollywood Reporter, the company has pledged $1 million of that to the SAG-AFTRA COVID-19 Disaster Fund, the Motion Picture and Television Fund and the Actors Fund Emergency Assistance in the U.S., and another $1 million between the AFC and Fondation des Artistes.

CVS Health looking to fill 50,000 jobs to meet demand

  • CVS said it needs more store associates, home-delivery drivers, distribution center employees and customer service professionals.
  • The company will use virtual job fairs, virtual interviews and tech-enabled job tryouts to find the right candidates.
  • It said it expects to fill many of the jobs with CVS clients, such as Hilton and Marriott, that have furloughed workers. 

3M Chairman and CEO Mike Roman on company's pandemic response: 

In a March 22 LinkedIn post, Roman writes:

  • As I write this, more than 500,000 respirators are on the way from our South Dakota plant to two of the more critically impacted areas, New York and Seattle, with arrivals expected starting tomorrow.
  • We are working with the U.S. and other governments, investigating alternate manufacturing scenarios, and exploring coalitions with other companies to increase capacity further.
  • 3M has a unique and critical responsibility in pandemic preparedness and response — a responsibility I and all our people take very seriously. Our most urgent priority is the safety of our employees, health-care workers and the public.
  • 3M is working proactively and is well-prepared to protect our employees, maintain business continuity and sustain our operations. Our crisis response team — which I am a member of — is overseeing all aspects of our strategies, and we are collaborating with our business partners across industries to prepare for any and all scenarios that may unfold.
  • Finally, I'd like to publicly share a sentiment to all 96,000 3Mers around the world: I am tremendously proud of you and the work you continue to do every day. This includes the 50,000 people who, in these most challenging circumstances, come to work in our plants and distribution centers to support making and delivering the products that are critical in this fight.
  • Across all our sites, we have established robust protocols for safety, cleaning and medical screening, and we are working closely with local communities and health authorities to ensure safe workplace environments. We also continue to support employees impacted by COVID-19, which includes a new pandemic leave policy in the United States.

FedEx CEO says he is not expecting to seek federal aid or resort to layoffs

Frederick Smith, CEO of FedEx.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
  • FedEx CEO Fred Smith said he doubts the company will be seeking any federal aid since business has increased amid the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The company is also not expecting any layoffs, Smith said on CBS' "Face the Nation."
  • FedEx, one of the largest shipping and logistics companies in the country, has seen delivery service demand surge as more Americans are shut in at home.
  • Smith said there are "massive efforts" under way in facilities to socially distance employees and provide supplies like gloves and antiseptic swabs."We're doing absolutely everything we can, cleaning our facilities prolifically," he said.

95% of the nation's casinos are closed

  • 443 (95%) of the country's commercial casinos, plus an additional 8 in 10 (83%) of the country's 524 tribal casinos have closed.
  • Nearly 662,000 casino gaming and resort employees, or 98% of the total U.S. casino workforce, are prevented from working.
  • Casino closures risk nearly $74 billion in total wages annually for workers and their families.
  • Casino gaming is vital to local small businesses, delivering $52 billion annually in small business revenue, including construction, manufacturing, retail and wholesale firms.

Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson announces major salary and hiring changes to curb the damage done by the outbreak

  • On a March 19 Marriott conference call, 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 also announced that it will be reducing salaries for the senior executive team by 50% and hiring only "essential positions."
  • This follows previous reporting that the world's largest hotel operator would be forced to furlough thousands of employees without pay due to the coronavirus fallout.

Domino's expects to hire 10,000 workers amid coronavirus delivery surge

  • Domino's Pizza expects to hire about 10,000 workers nationwide in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The company is looking for delivery drivers, pizza chefs, customer service representatives, managers and licensed truck drivers for its supply chain centers. The need will vary based on individual stores.
  • The pizza chain has introduced contactless delivery in the U.S. to respond to the epidemic. Delivery accounts for about 55% of its total orders.
  • The National Restaurant Association is asking the federal government for financial relief for the industry as it forecasts sales declines of $225 billion over the next three months.
  • On March 19, Papa John's President & CEO Rob Lynch joined CNBC's "The Exchange," where he said the company is also "hiring bigtime" as they lean into their delivery business and expand their workforce to meet demand.

MLB teams pledge $30 million to cover lost wages of ballpark workers affected by season postponement 

Gerald Martineau | The Washington Post | Getty Images
  • All 30 Major League Baseball teams collectively have pledged $30 million to help cover the lost wages of ballpark workers furloughed due to the season postponement amid COVID-19 concerns. 
  • With Opening Day originally set for March 26, MLB teams had already established their game-day staff, like concession workers and ticket takers, when the league announced March 12 it would suspend baseball operations indefinitely.
  • "Motivated by desire to help some of the most valuable members of the baseball community, each Club has committed $1 million," MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement.
  • Now with Opening Day pushed back to mid-May at its earliest, the MLB is continuing negotiations with the Players Association to determine payment to players.

Hotel industry projects 3.9 million industry jobs lost this year

  • According to the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting 33,000 small business owners across the lodging industry who operate 66% of hotel properties.
  • The economic harm is already more severe than 9/11 and the Great Recession combined, AHLA President and CEO Chris Rogers said in a press release.
  • Hotel CEOs met with White House officials on Tuesday to discuss the impact and critical goals: retaining and rehiring employees and avoiding hotel closures through increased liquidity and small business loans.
  • Jon Bortz, Board Chair, AHLA and Chairman & CEO, Pebblebrook Hotel Trust, said by the end of the month it expects another 2,000 employees will also be let go, representing over three quarters of its employees. 

Honda temporarily suspends production due to anticipated decline in market demand

  • Honda will suspend production for six days beginning March 23. In those six days, the auto manufacturer will reduce production by approximately 40,000 vehicles.
  • During this time, Honda will continue full pay for its approximate 27,600 North American associates who are affected by the temporary suspension of production.
  • The affected auto plants include two in Ohio, one in Indiana and one in Alabama.

American Airlines extends voluntary unpaid leave options

  • 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 to receive 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.
  • Reservations agents are not being offered unpaid leave "because their workload is already so high," the company said.
  • The airline is also offering retirement packages to people who have been with the company 15 years or more. 

Amazon to hire 100,000 workers for delivery, warehouses

  • Amazon said Monday it plans to hire an additional 100,000 warehouse and delivery workers amid a surge in online orders due to the coronavirus outbreak.
  • The company is also raising pay for warehouse and delivery workers by $2 per hour in the U.S.  
  • Amazon encouraged employees in other industries whose jobs were "lost or furloughed" as a result of the coronavirus to apply, including members of the hospitality, restaurant and travel industries. 

UAW, US automakers to enhance protections for workers

Engines assembled as they make their way through the assembly line at the General Motors (GM) manufacturing plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee, August 22, 2019.
Harrison McClary | Reuters
  • 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.
  • Actions include enhanced visitor screening, increased cleaning and sanitizing of common areas and touch points, and implementing safety protocols for people with potential exposure, as well as those who exhibit flu-like symptoms.
  • The joint task force’s areas of focus will include vehicle production plans, additional social distancing, break and cleaning schedules, health and safety education, health screening, food service and any other areas that have the potential to improve protections for employees.

Under Armour closing all North American stores

  • Athletic apparel retailer Under Armour will close all stores in North America from March 16 through March 28.
  • Company says all employees will receive pay during this time.
  • Under Armour employs over 16,000 employees and has 153 retail stores.

Nike closing many stores globally, changing corporate work policies

American multinational sport clothing brand Nike store seen in Hong Kong.
Budrul Chukrut | SOPA Images | Getty Images
  • Nike announced all stores across the U.S., Canada, Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand will close from Monday March 16 through March 27 to curb the spread of COVID-19. 
  • Workers will be paid in full during the closure.
  • Nike also announced remote work and staggered work schedules for non-store employees. 

Disney halts production for some live-action films

  • Disney is halting the production of some of its live-action films as concerns over the growing coronavirus pandemic worsen.
  • No confirmed COVID-19 cases confirmed on productions, but Disney decided to halt production in "best interests of our cast and crew."
  • It is unclear how many employees will be impacted by this decision.

Salaried workers at Ford, GM instructed to stay home

  • Ford and General Motors have instructed employees who can work from home to do so beginning Monday due to the coronavirus outbreak.
  • This policy impacts primarily salaried workers. Ford employs 190,000 people globally, including 66,800 salaried employees. GM employs about 168,000 people, including 70,000 salaried employees.
  • The new guidelines apply globally, excluding China, but do not include factory workers or those who must physically be present to do their duties.

Walmart to deploy emergency leave program

A Walmart store is seen as the company reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings that fell short of analysts’ estimates on February 18, 2020 in Miami, Florida.
Joe Raedle | Getty Images
  • Walmart, the nation's largest private employer, is deploying an emergency employee leave program.
  • The retailer is waiving attendance policy through the end of April.
  • If an individual associate is mandated by government or company to quarantine, or becomes ill with a confirmed case of the coronavirus, the associate will receive two weeks pay.
  • If an associate is unable to return to work after those two weeks, additional pay replacement may be available for up to 26 weeks for both full- and part-time hourly associates.