COVID-19 update: Workplace policies and practices — Lisa Bisaccia, EVP and Chief Human Resources Officer

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

I want to build on the message that Chief Medical Officer Dr. Troy Brennan sent out yesterday. Over the past week, our lives have been significantly disrupted by the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Events have been canceled or postponed, schools have closed, travel has been limited and/or curtailed, and financial markets have been battered. I want to thank you for your flexibility and cooperation during this period of worldwide uncertainty. I also want to thank you for your commitment to serving our patients, members and customers and continuing to do your jobs to the best of your ability as we face this pandemic together. Our company, and each of you, are a critical piece of the country’s health care solution during this difficult time, and I know that we will rise to the occasion.

It’s important that we remain compassionate and calm with our patients and customers and one another, while staying faithful to our purpose of helping people on their path to better health. Our primary focus is to provide you with continuous information about the actions we are taking as a company, along with support resources, as we learn more about COVID-19 and its spread.

  • Paid time off, sick time, and Short Term Disability (STD): If you are ill with cold-like symptoms (fever/chills, cough, sore throat, runny nose), please remain at home. Follow your normal call-in procedures to alert your manager and extended team. Consult with your medical provider. As an important reminder, we will continue to pay those who test positive for COVID-19 and those who are quarantined for exposure for up to 14 days. For more information about COVID-19 and covered sick time, please read our Frequently Asked Questions on the intranet.

  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): A request for time off to care for a family member with COVID-19, or to take care of your own serious health condition, will be treated like any other leave under company policy, consistent with the FMLA and state counterparts, and sick leave laws.

  • Child care support: We recognize that with schools closed in many communities working parents may now be juggling their child care responsibilities with their work commitments. We are exploring options that we can take as a company to help you and will update you as soon as decisions are made. In the meantime:

    • Several states and cities have implemented local paid sick and safe leave laws that will provide you with paid time off, if you need it, for reasons related to your health or that of your family members if you work in those locations. In addition, some of these states and cities allow paid sick leave to be used for time off needed due to the closure of your workplace or your child’s school or daycare due to the COVID-19 pandemic. See the chart below listing the cities and states with these special local provisions and please call the HR Coronavirus Call Center if you have questions. Please note that this list could change at any point in time as states and cities continue to respond to this public health emergency by providing additional benefits to their residents.

    • In addition, if you are eligible, you can use available time to cover these types of absences as well.

    • Finally, please remember to always follow any applicable department call-out procedures when taking time due to school or childcare closure.

      Arizona, Michigan, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, Chicago, IL, Rhode Island, Cook County, IL, Westchester County, NY, Montgomery County, MD, New York City, St. Paul, MN, San Diego, CA, Seattle, WA, Tacoma, WA, Nevada, Minneapolis, MN, Pittsburgh, PA

      For a complete list of all city/state paid sick leave laws, see the intranet.

  • Telework support: If you are an office-based colleague working from home, we understand that you may be facing new challenges. You may feel more isolated without daily team interaction. Our Learning and Development team has developed a Remote Working toolkit that’s now available in the Coronavirus Resource Center, with helpful information about how to adapt to your new working environment. Also, be sure to review the “Get the most out of our collaboration tools” section on the Coronavirus Resource Center on the intranet.

  • Employee assistance programs: You may be feeling stressed because of lifestyle changes imposed by COVID-19, or anxious over the potential to become ill with the virus. Counselors are available 24/7 to support you and your family members. Details and phone numbers are on the intranet.

  • HR hotline: Contact the HR Coronavirus Call Center to self-report a COVID-19 diagnosis and request assistance, or for any HR-related questions about COVID-19 including leaves of absence, work from home and other policies.

  • Facilities safety and reporting: We have established a COVID-19 Command Center to report potential or confirmed exposures in any CVS Health facility to quickly send notifications and implement structured cleaning protocols.

  • CVS Health Employee Relief Fund: We know that amid this current COVID-19 disruption in our lives, over the coming weeks and months, many of you may need support for other unforeseen hardships. We want to remind you that the CVS Health Employee Relief Fund is here to help those of you who may face a medical situation, the death of a loved one or home catastrophe. Contact your HR Business Partner if you need more information.

COVID-19 is a true test of our resiliency. In these extraordinary times, we appreciate your extraordinary effort to ensure we continue to take care of our customers and patients. Please know that we are here to support you, and we will continue to address your needs as the situation evolves. The COVID-19 Resource Center on the intranet is continuously updated with news, tips to stay healthy, and resources to help us during this unprecedented time.

As always, thank you for all you do each and every day to care for our customers, members and patients, as well as each other. Stay well.