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Walgreens giving bonus to 4K Puerto Rico employees handling COVID-19 pandemic

Illinois-based drugstore chain Walgreens will be giving its employees in stores and distributions centers a one-time bonus payment in recognition of the role they are playing during the COVID-19 pandemic, and “for their ongoing commitment to customer care, the company announced a one-time bonus for these employees.”

In Puerto Rico, that means some 4,000 Walgreens employees will receive a bonus payment of $300 for full-time and $150 for part-time hourly work starting in late April.

“Our store team members are working incredibly hard, in a very challenging and uncertain time and we’re grateful for all they do each day,” said Walgreens President, Richard Ashworth. “We play a critical role in responding to the pandemic and our team members, who are the face of Walgreens, are doing everything they can to support customers, patients and communities across America, who are relying on us at this critical time.”

In addition to the increased pay, Walgreens has updated its attendance policy for hourly team members through the end of April, allowing individuals to stay at home due to concerns surrounding COVID-19 for situations including childcare needs, or if team members are showing signs or symptoms of illness.

If a team member contracts a confirmed case of COVID-19, the first two weeks of their absence will be paid, the retailer said.

If ill employees are unable to return to work after two weeks, an additional pay option may be available through disability leave, company executives said.

If a store, area office, distribution center or other company workplace location falls under a mandated quarantine, any impacted team members will also be paid for their absence without requiring the use of paid time off.

Puerto Rico has been under an islandwide lockdown since Mar. 15, which has been extended through April 12, but has exempted grocery stores and pharmacies, so most Walgreens locations have remained open.

While Walgreens is currently looking to fill more than 9,500 existing full- and part-time and temporary roles in stores across the U.S., the chain has also temporarily reduced operating hours, which allows spending the necessary time, while closed, cleaning, sanitizing and stocking shelves.

“We’re also adjusting our hours to help team members and customers feel comfortable and safe to shop our store during this time,” he said.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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