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Companies right now are facing unprecedented challenges in responding to the novel coronavirus outbreak. While many across the U.S. are announcing layoffs and hiring freezes, Bank of America claims they hired more than 2,000 new employees in March alone and will not be doing any layoffs or job reductions in 2020 as a result of the pandemic. They also raised their U.S. minimum hourly wage to $20.
CNBC spoke with Bank of America vice chairman Anne Finucane this week on how the company protects the well-being of its more than 200,000 employees while also maintaining business continuity and protecting the bottom line.
Bank of America vice chairman Anne Finucane
What is the bank doing to help employees get through this difficult time?
Our 208,000 teammates around the world are our No. 1 priority and are critical to our path forward. It’s because of their continued focus to making financial lives better that we can keep the wheels turning and be there for our millions of clients. That’s why we won’t be doing any layoffs or job reductions in 2020 as a result of coronavirus. In fact, during March alone, we welcomed more than 2,000 new teammates to our company in the U.S. in consumer and operations functions.
We are also protecting critical benefits, like 40-hour workweeks, paid sick leave and paid time off, and providing access and special allowances for child- and elder care. At our financial centers across the U.S., eligible employees will continue to be paid for their regular, full weekly schedule, even if their hours are reduced. They will also receive a special supplemental payment of $200 per pay period [every two weeks]. And at our U.S. call centers and operations centers nationwide, those teammates who continue going into the office and working overtime will receive double the hourly base pay rate when they work more than 40 hours a week. This quarter we also raised our U.S. minimum hourly wage to $20.
We also recognize that with school closures, work-from-home mandates and other added strains, supporting the emotional wellness and mental health of our teammates and their families is critical. That’s why all our teammates and members of their households have access to confidential counseling services to help navigate through this period of uncertainty. As our CEO Brian Moynihan has said: “This is a health and humanitarian crisis. We need to take care of our people, customers and clients.”
The coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the markets is causing fear and anxiety across the world. What is Bank of America doing to calm clients’ fears?
For us, people always come first – whether that’s our employees, community members or our clients. So for clients, that means providing access to the important services they use every day and being there to help those who are impacted by coronavirus.
Last week, for…