The Home Depot has announced several temporary changes amid concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.
Changes include closing all stores at 6 p.m., limiting the number of customers allowed inside stores at the same time, and eliminating spring promotions that would result in high traffic at stores.
“As the situation around the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to develop, our paramount concern has been for the health and safety of our customers and associates,” Home Depot officials stated in a press release Wednesday. “The Home Depot is an essential retailer to the communities we serve, and we’re committed to keeping stores open just as we always do during times of crisis and natural disaster.”
While opening hours remain the same, closing early will allow Home Depot stores to restock shelves and perform enhanced cleaning. Stores are promoting social and physical distancing with staff training, distancing markers at checkout, loudspeaker announcements and signs posted throughout stores.
Thermometers are being provided to associates in stores and distribution centers so they can perform health checks before reporting to work.
Following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Home Depot has increased the frequency of cleaning and general hygiene maintenance in stores and other locations, and added frequent disinfection of high-traffic and high-touch areas like self-checkout, door handles and bathrooms, as well as posting signs promoting handwashing and other preventive actions.
All hourly full-time associates have received an additional 80 hours of paid time off, and part-time hourly associates received an additional 40 hours of paid time off to help with medical needs.
For associates who are 65 years of age or older or determined to be at higher risk by the CDC, Home Depot has added another 80 hours of paid time off for full-time associates and another 40 hours of paid time off for part-time associates. The paid time off can be used any time, for any reason, between now and the end of the year, and will be paid out at year-end if not used.
If associates are diagnosed with COVID-19, they will be provided paid time off until they are released by a doctor to return to work. The company is providing 14 days of paid time off for any associate required to quarantine by a public health authority or the CDC.
From March 23 through April 19, hourly associates who work more than 35 hours per week will receive an additional $100 per week, while hourly associates who work 16 to 35 hours per week will receive an additional $50 per week. This bonus program applies to full-time, part-time and seasonal positions, including new associates. Double-time pay will be provided to hourly associates for overtime hours worked.
Weeks ago, The Home Depot voluntarily froze pricing nationwide across product categories in high demand due to COVID-19 and executed a “Stop-Sale” on all N95 masks in stores and www.HomeDepot.com , and redirected all shipments to be donated to hospitals, healthcare providers and first responders around the country.
The company is donating millions of dollars in personal protective equipment and other products and prioritizing fulfillment to hospitals, healthcare providers and first responders.
“We’ve been marshalling the resources of our merchandising and supply chain teams to globally source quality products and expedite the availability of needed items,” the release stated.
The company is limiting services and installations to those that are essential for maintenance and repair needs in some markets.
“We've advised all delivery and Home Services associates to follow everyday preventive actions including washing hands often, disinfecting frequently touched objects, and carrying hand sanitizer,” the release stated.
For more information, visit www.thehomedepot.com .