By Kate Taylor
Starbucks is taking bold action in response to the coronavirus update, paying workers for the next 30 days whether they come to work or not.
The coffee giant announced on Friday that it will pay all United States partners for the next 30 days even if they decide to stay home from work.
Starting on Saturday, Starbucks will move to a drive-thru and delivery only model at its more than 9,600 company-owned stores in the US and Canada. Stores without drive-thrus will temporarily close for two weeks, with exceptions for select locations in or near healthcare centers.
In addition to paying workers for 30 days, whether or not they come to work, Starbucks is also offering catastrophe pay, mental health and sick pay benefits, and childcare support.
Starbucks announced on Monday that it is rolling out new mental health benefits to workers, including 20 free sessions per year with a mental health therapist or coach. The chain also expanded childcare benefits, increasing back-up care days through Care@Work from 10 to 20 and implementing service that allows workers to get reimbursed up to $125 per day for childcare costs.
Fast-food workers are worried about catching coronavirus
Many restaurants across the US have been forced to shut down over the last week, due to cities’ and states’ bans on dine-in service and nonessential businesses. However, most chains have stayed open, serving customers via drive-thru, delivery, and to-go orders placed at the counter.
Some employees are concerned that working in restaurants could put them at risk of catching the coronavirus. More than 35,000 people had signed a Coworker.org petition as of Friday calling for Starbucks to suspend its business due to the coronavirus outbreak