Tyson Foods, Inc, announced on Tuesday it will pay approximately $60 million in “thank you” bonuses to its 116,000 frontline employees and Tyson truckers in the U.S. who support the company’s operations to provide food each day during the COVID-19 pandemic. The bonuses are in addition to other company-announced efforts to support workers, plant communities and livestock producers during the global pandemic.
The bonuses will be paid to workers who qualify for “one-time $500 bonuses, payable during the first week of July. This is based on their work attendance in accordance with our relaxed COVID-19 attendance policy during the months of April, May and June,” according to a company release.
"We're proud of how our team members have stepped up during this challenging time to make sure we continue fulfilling our critical mission of feeding people across America," said Tyson Foods CEO Noel White. "Our company recently relaxed our attendance policy and we encourage our team members to stay at home if they're exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 infection. We're taking additional precautionary measures, such as daily temperature checks at all our facilities and daily cleaning with extra sanitizing in high traffic areas.”
Tyson has relaxed its attendance policy to reinforce the importance of staying home when workers are sick or to meet childcare needs. It has also restricted visitor access to its facilities. Temporal thermometers have been implemented to check the temperature of team members before they enter company facilities and expects delivery of infrared temperature scanners following a successful trial.
In addition, the company is offering protective face coverings for production workers who request them and is working with the CDC on additional guidance on the use of personal protective equipment.
Tyson Foods, which has mandatory health care coverage, is waiving the 5 consecutive day waiting period for short term disability benefits, so workers can receive pay while they're sick with the flu or COVID-19. In addition, it is:
- Waiving the co-pay, co-insurance and deductible for doctor visits for COVID-19 testing as well as eliminating pre-approval or preauthorization steps.
- Waiving co-pays for the use of telemedicine.
- Relaxing refill limits for 30-day prescriptions of maintenance medication.
Earlier, John Randal Tyson, the company's Chief Sustainability Officer, said Tyson had also donated money and food in several communities across America.
"For many of our communities, the ripple effect of the quarantine means jobs are lost, bills stack up, and people need food beyond the grocery store," Tyson said. "In the month of March alone, we donated 16 million meals to Feeding America food banks, pantries located in Tyson communities and to our very own team members. That’s more than $11 million in protein for hunger relief in less than a month. In addition, more than 15 truckloads of product have been delivered to Tyson plants for distribution to team members and those local communities in need."