Coffee chain Starbucks has announced that it will be paying all employees for the next 30 days, regardless of whether or not they actually show up to work.
This decision comes in the aftermath of an online petition, which urged the company to close all of its locations in order to keep workers safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company will offer catastrophe pay and access to mental health resources and childcare support for workers who do opt to keep coming into work.
Starbucks is also temporarily pivoting to a drive-thru and delivery-based model, closing off its indoor spaces in order to minimize the risk of transmitting the virus for the next two weeks. The only exceptions to this will be for sites based in hospitals, in order to be able to continue serving healthcare workers and first responders.
“The magnitude of managing through this situation is the single biggest challenge many of us have faced in our lifetime, and I am continually moved by your compassion for each other, our customers and our communities during this exceptionally difficult time,” wrote Starbucks president Rossann Williams in a company-wide letter.
“With daily news from friends and family members getting laid off and businesses closing, we need one another more than ever. We need to be a different kind of company. Together, we have successfully navigated many challenges throughout our history, and managing COVID-19 will be no different. You have my word, we will continue to stay true to Our Mission and Values, making the right decisions even when it’s hard, and caring for you and our customers.”