TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Lowe’s announced on Thursday it is hiring 30,000 workers and giving employees $80 million in bonuses as part of its response to the growing coronavirus pandemic.
The bonuses for the 300,000 current Lowe's employees will range from $150 for part-time workers to $300 for full-time workers, Lowe’s president and CEO Marvin Ellison said in a statement.
Ellison said the bonus payments will not be subject to withholding tax.
“We’re spending less time thinking about the revenue and less time thinking of anything other than can we give our associates the support that they need, can we be a good corporate citizen," siad Ellison. "Can we do all that we can to help in these really unprecedented times?"
The company also is offering employees most susceptible to the coronavirus up to four weeks of emergency paid leave. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said people over 65, pregnant or with underlying medical conditions are at risk to COVID-19.
Ellison said Lowe's is offering free "Teladoc" services to employees and their families regardless of whether they are on the health care plan.
Like other retailers, Lowe’s is starting to install sneeze guards or plexiglass barriers or partitions in stores. There also are reminders of social distancing in signage and store announcements.
Ellison said Lowe’s has donated N-95 masks to medical centers across the country.
As of March 23, Lowe’s has temporarily reduced hours at its nearly 2,000 stores and closing earlier. Opening times remain the same but stores will close at 8:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 7 p.m. on Sunday.
Other retailers including Walmart, Target, CVS and Walgreens have also given bonuses to workers or temporarily increased pay due to COVID-19-related demand.