Verizon is increasing pay for its mission-critical employees who are unable to work from home during the coronavirus pandemic. The identified employees include those who must work in the field to fulfill broadband orders, handle connection issues and maintain the networks. Eligible employees also include some retail store workers. The carrier didn't specify a monetary amount or percentage that pay is being increased.
The company’s eligible network, logistics and real estate employees, including field technicians, will receive an enhancement on top of their regular base wages.
“Now, more than ever, our networks must remain operational as we continue to provide essential services to healthcare workers and facilities, first responders, schools, businesses, and families,” said Christy Pambianchi, Verizon’s chief human resources officer, in a statement.
In addition to the field employees who are working to maintain broadband connections, Verizon is also offering pay increases to retail employees. More than 70% of Verizon’s corporate-owned retail locations are now closed. But the company is increasing the base hourly rate of retail employees who are manning the Verizon retail stores that remain open.
The company is also working re-train and re-deploy thousands of its retail employees so that they can provide customer support and tele-sales from their homes.
In addition to the wage increases, the company is allowing more than a third of its installation and maintenance technicians to keep their work vehicles at their homes to support social distancing.
“In every facet of our business, we’ve initiated new and innovative ways to transition traditional roles to work-from-home functions whenever possible,” said Pambianchi.
More than 100,000 of Verizon’s approximately 135,000 employees are now working from home.
Verizon has also implemented a coronavirus leave of absence policy. Those who contract the virus are eligible for up to 26 weeks paid leave. For employees caring for someone who’s been infected, for employees directed to stay home due to an underlying medical condition and for employees who have trouble finding childcare at this time, Verizon provides eight weeks of pay at full pay and, if needed, additional weeks with 60% of their base wage.