NATIONAL REPORT — As the convenience channel navigates the tumultuous waters of COVID-19 (coronavirus), retailers are supporting the efforts of its employees with raises, bonuses and paid time off. Among those operators are:
Convenience store retailer 7-Eleven enhanced its employee paid time off policy for corporate store employees to provide support and comfort to those who fall ill or are potentially at risk of being sick.
Based in Irving, 7‑Eleven operates, franchises and/or licenses more than 70,000 stores in 17 countries, including 11,800 in North America.
Love's is supporting employees in a number of ways, including:
- All hourly store employees will receive $100 bonuses to be paid on March 30;
- $2-an-hour pay increases which also include Speedco and Love's Truck Care hourly employees, will run through May 1 and will be evaluated at that time;
- The travel center operator will provide free meals while employees work; and
- All salaried managers will receive their first quarter bonuses regardless of whether their targets were made, and a month earlier than normal.
In addition, sick time will be offered in certain situations related to COVID-19. If an employee tests positive for the virus, or is ordered quarantined during the crisis by a doctor, they’ll be paid for up to 80 hours of missed time.
"Unprecedented times means unprecedented measures and that's what Love's is doing as a company," said Shane Wharton, president of Love's. "The fantastic work of our store teams deserves to be rewarded. It is our mission to serve those professional drivers who are a part of getting America's vital goods, including medical and food supplies, delivered throughout the country."
Based in Oklahoma City, Love's operates more than 510 locations in 41 states.
In an effort to "properly support and recognize" their work, Wawa CEO Chris Gheysens said in a written statement that every hourly employee would receive a temporary wage increase.
Although the executive did not reveal the amount of the increase, an employee at a Wawa store told a New Jersey 101.5 reporter he received a $3 per hour increase.
Gheysens also that any employee personally affected by COVID-19 will have an extra 14 days of paid time off, which can be used for self-care or to attend to a family member who is impacted.
"I am extremely grateful for the vital role our associates are playing to serve our communities when they need it most," he said.
Pennsylvania-based Wawa operates more than 860 c-stores, with more than 600 offering fuel, across Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Florida and Washington, D.C.
In recent days, Yesway, the retail arm of BW Gas & Convenience Holdings LLC, has increased preventative measures in its corporate offices and all of its 419 stores. The c-store operator instituted an expanded Emergency Sick and Personal Leave policy for all employees, which provides an additional two weeks of paid time off to those who, in an exercise of caution, elect or are asked to self-quarantine at home.
"We heed the warnings and recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other health organizations and government bodies very seriously," said Tom Trkla, CEO of Yesway and Allsup's. "With the continued challenges we are all facing surrounding the COVID-19 virus in our workplace, our homes, and our communities, we wanted to relieve some of the pressures our valued employees may experience if they or any member of their family becomes ill.
"We are also increasing the availability of overtime pay for our team members who are working tirelessly to safely serve and support our many customers and are actively seeking to hire new associates who have been negatively impacted by restaurant, bar, casino, or other business closures," he continued.
Yesway operates 421 stores in Iowa, Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming.