As thousands of workers face layoffs due to COVID-19, CVS Health announced Monday that it is looking to immediately hire 50,000 employees across the U.S. and offer expanded benefits and bonuses for existing workers.
The Rhode Island-based parent company of CVS Pharmacy, CVS Caremark and Hartford’s Aetna, called it the “most ambitious hiring drive in the company’s history” in a Monday statement. The announcement follows state guidance that pharmacies and other healthcare providers should remain open during the coronavirus pandemic, labeled “essential” businesses.
CVS Health employs about 300,000 workers nationwide, but the company said new workers will help manage capacity with existing employees.
The roles to be filled are a mix of full-time, part-time, and temporary positions that span the company’s subsidiaries, from store associates and home delivery drivers to distribution center employees and customer service professionals. About 600 open positions in Connecticut have been posted so far on CVS Health’s job search page, with over 175 additional postings based in Hartford at Aetna.
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In keeping with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance on social distancing, CVS Health said it will use a tech-based hiring process that includes virtual job fairs, interviews, and tryouts. The company expects many of the roles to be filled by the furloughed employees of CVS Health clients, including Hilton and Marriott.
“Our colleagues have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to providing essential goods and services at a time when they’re needed most,” said Larry J. Merlo, president and CEO of CVS Health in a written statement. “As they continue to be there for the individuals and families we serve, we’re taking extra steps to provide some peace of mind and help them navigate these uncertain times.”
Starting Sunday, CVS Health made 24 hours of paid sick leave available to part-time employees for the duration of the pandemic, in addition to the two week paid leave provided by the company to any employee who tests positive for COVID-19 or needs needs to be quarantined as a result of potential exposure. Full-time employees already had access to paid sick leave.
Beginning in early April, both full- and part-time employees caring for children, elders, or adult dependents will be able to use up to 25 fully covered days of “backup care,” as CVS Health partners with in-home and center-based daycare provider Bright Horizons.
The company is also awarding bonuses ranging from $150 to $500 to its front-line employees, such as pharmacists, store associates and other hourly employees who cannot work remotely. The company will continue to prioritize the distribution of protective gear to those working in the “hardest-hit areas.”
Source: Hartford Courant