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CVS Health: Focusing on Employee Support During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Employer Case Study: Learn how CVS Health ensured the health and safety of its employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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CVS Health

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Excellence in Disability Inclusion Award winner CVS Health remains committed to protecting the health and safety of its employees and customers at all times, and has taken special steps to do so during the COVID-19 pandemic. CVS Health has undertaken the following efforts to support current employees and onboard new staff to meet increased workforce needs.

Watch EARN's videos about CVS Health's disability inclusion efforts.

“The health and safety of our patients, our customers, and our colleagues is CVS Health’s top priority.”
– Larry Merlo, President and CEO, CVS Health

Efforts to Support Current Employees

CVS Health’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) stood at the ready to help employees adjust to changes in their personal and professional lives resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Mental health counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to support employees and their family members experiencing feelings such as stress, anxiety or depression. Employees can access contact information and program details on the company’s intranet. CVS Health found that offering a safe place for employees to discuss their experiences and feelings, and receive assistance from mental health professionals, not only benefited individual employees, but also positively impacted its corporate culture.

In addition, CVS Health’s Human Resources (HR) Hotline can address any HR-related questions employees have related to COVID-19, including leaves of absence, work from home and other policies. The company also established a COVID-19 Command Center for reporting of potential or confirmed exposures in any CVS Health facility in order to quickly send notifications to staff and implement cleaning protocols. The safety of every employee and customer has been a top priority for CVS Health from the beginning. They have been working to secure personal protective gear and prioritized distribution to the hardest-hit areas.

For employees who have been required to be at CVS Health facilities, such as pharmacists, store associates and managers, the company has awarded employee bonuses of between $150 and $500. For office-based employees who are now working from home, CVS Health is offering telework support through its Learning and Development team, including a Remote Working Toolkit with information about how to adapt to changes in work environment.

When schools shut down with little advanced notice, CVS Health offered employees transitional assistance to meet child, elder or adult dependent care needs during that challenging time. Working with the Bright Horizons network of national in-home and center-based daycare providers throughout the U.S., both full- and part-time employees were able to access up to 25 fully covered days of backup care.

In addition, CVS Health made 24 hours of paid sick leave available to part-time employees for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. This paid sick leave is in addition to the 14-day paid leave the company is providing for any employee who tests positive for COVID-19 or needs to be quarantined as a result of potential exposure.

CVS Health also offered employees resources to address financial hardships presented by the onset of the crisis, including the CVS Health Employee Relief Fund. The Fund provided short-term, immediate financial relief in the form of tax-exempt grants to employees to address qualifying emergency needs related to the pandemic. The CVS Health Foundation said it would match up to $1 million in employee contributions to the Employee Relief Fund.

Filling Workforce Needs

In addition to providing enhanced benefits for current employees, CVS Health also embarked on the largest hiring drive in the company’s history, working to fill 50,000 full-time, part-time, and temporary roles, including store associates, home delivery drivers, distribution center employees and customer service professionals. The company utilized a technology-based hiring process that includes virtual job fairs, interviews and job tryouts.

CVS Health also worked with clients across the travel, hospitality, retail and restaurant industries to develop customized solutions to place their furloughed employees in open positions with the company. Partners in that work included American Airlines, Estefan Enterprises, The Gap, Hilton, Hyatt and Marriott.

For more information about CVS Health’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit the CVS Health COVID-19 resource center.