CVS Health (CVS.NYSE) offers solace for unemployed people forced to pay rent during COVID-19

Trump
03/24/2020

Being working class in the United States in the time of Donald Trump is a curious endeavour. The stories coming from some of my friends to the south would turn your hair white. Otherwise bright, hard-working people, who because of a pre-existing condition find themselves out on the lam in terms of medical costs, so they have to pay a substantial amount of their savings for a sprained ankle. Then there’s the lack of federal support during COVID-19, including Trump’s now world-famous tweet about reopening the country for business despite the virus for fear of tanking the economy.

Tweet:

WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF. AT THE END OF THE 15 DAY PERIOD, WE WILL MAKE A DECISION AS TO WHICH WAY WE WANT TO GO!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 23, 2020

If you don’t speak Trump, here’s a translation:

He’s more worried about the long-term effects on the Dow Jones Industrial Average and his own re-election chances than he does about killing his own citizens.

In comparison, Trudeau looks good right now. Hell, Andrew Scheer looks good right now, and he has all the charisma of a hallowe’en pumpkin still rotting in the July heat.

So what do you do when you live in a country that’s more worried about filling the pockets of Wall Street bankers than your well-being? And you’re not lucky enough to live in a state that’s suspended the right to evict you from your home during the epidemic? You try to find a job with a company that takes care of its people.

During a time when COVID-19 has most employers downsizing to meet with government demands for social distancing to fight the disease, CVS Health (CVS.NYSE) is looking to hire.

So if you’ve been laid off from your regular gig and having a hard time making up the scratch, then CVS has your back. They’re looking to fill 50,000 full time, part-time and temporary roles across the country. Roles include store associates, home delivery drivers, distribution center employees and customer service.

CVS is also giving out bonuses ranging from $150 to $500 to its frontline pharmacists and other healthcare professionals, store associates and managers, who have assisted patients and customers in their time of need.

“Our colleagues have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to providing essential goods and services at a time when they’re needed most. As they continue to be there for the individuals and families we serve, we’re taking extra steps to provide some peace of mind and help them navigate these uncertain times,” said Larry J. Merlo, president and CEO of CVS Health.

In the spirit of COVID-19, the company will use a tech-mediated format for its hiring process, including virtual job fairs, virtual interviews and virtual job tryouts. Roles will go first to furloughed CVS Health clients.

An influx of talent will help manage capacity for existing employees, who will also benefit from the following changes:

  • CVS Health will launch a new offering to help employees with both child and elder or adult dependent care needs. Working with the Bright Horizons network of national in-home and center-based daycare providers, employees will be able to take advantage of up to 25 fully covered days of backup care. This benefit will begin in early April for both full- and part-time employees.
  • Full-time CVS Health employees have always had access to paid sick leave. Effective March 22, CVS Health has made 24 hours of paid sick leave available to part-time employees for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. This paid sick leave is in addition to the 14-day paid leave the company is providing for any employee who tests positive for COVID-19 or needs to be quarantined as a result of potential exposure.

The company has been focused on the safety of their employees from the start, and has been putting a high priority on the distribution of protective gear to the hardest-hit areas.

“The health and wellbeing of our colleagues has always come first. We’ve been working around the clock to increase availability of supplies and update protocols to ensure our stores are safe for colleagues and customers alike,” Merlo said.

CVS Health employees also have several resources available to help address financial hardship, including access to the Employee Relief Fund for short term, immediate financial relief in the form of tax-exempt grants.

In addition to the measures announced today, CVS Health employees have several resources available to help address financial hardships in times of crisis. This includes access to the , which provides short-term, immediate financial relief in the form of tax-exempt grants.

More information on steps CVS Health has already taken to address the COVID-19 pandemic — including waiving charges for home delivery of prescription medications and making diagnostic testing and Aetna-covered telemedicine visits available with no co-pay — is available at the company’s frequently updated COVID-19 resource center.

—Joseph Morton

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