The COVID-19 outbreak is developing so quickly that companies are still working hard to develop internal policies on travel and working remotely. A few companies have started to go a step further in making public pronouncements and lending a hand in dealing with the negative social and economic impacts COVID-19 is generating.
Microsoft announced last week it would continue to pay hourly workers that support its campuses even though the company had a reduced need for the presence of “individuals who work for our vendors and staff our cafes, drive our shuttles and support our on-site tech and audio-visual needs.”
Microsoft President Brad Smith said in a blog post, “While the work to protect public health needs to speed up, the economy can’t afford to slow down. We’re committed as a company to making public health our first priority and doing what we can to address the economic and societal impact of COVID-19. We appreciate that what’s affordable for a large employer may not be affordable for a small business, but we believe that large employers who can afford to take this type of step should consider doing so.”
Amazon, Expedia, Facebook, Twitter, Google and Salesforce announced that they’ll follow Microsoft’s lead and committed that their hourly and subcontracted workers will be paid their regular wages.
In addition, Microsoft, Amazon and Starbucks in coordination with King County and the City of Seattle will also launch a regional COVID-19 Response Fund to address the emerging community needs of COVID-19. Microsoft is making an initial $1 million anchor donation to help launch this effort.
We expect that additional corporate citizens will step forward to support in ways large and small in the coming weeks and months as this unprecedented outbreak continues to reveal weaknesses in our health care response and capacities.
Heard of any unique corporate responses to the novel coronavirus? Please send them our way.
Until then, please stay well!