COVID-19: Member Updates
Guidance on Employment Issues
OBI is fortunate to count some of the top employment law firms in the country as our members. These firms have proven to be an invaluable resource for businesses as we navigate this new reality. If you’re looking for answers on questions about changes in employment law, paid sick leave, social distancing guidelines, and a wide array of other issues click on the links below to find the latest.
Stay Healthy with the Latest from OBI’s HealthChoice Providers
Our HealthChoice program provides an array of health care services and plans to OBI members at competitive rates. As Oregon businesses grapple with the impacts of the worst public health crisis in our state’s history, we want to provide access to the latest information from our HealthChoice provider, Regence BlueCross BlueShield, so you can stay on top of the most important information you need: How to stay healthy.
OBI members here in Oregon and across the country and stepping up to lead their community’s response to the coronavirus crisis, even as their own operations and revenues have taken a hit. THANK YOU to those companies that are going above and beyond to keep their employees, customers and communities healthy and stable. We know this list is not exhaustive, so if you’re doing something to help your community weather this crisis, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.OBI Members Helping Out
- From the beginning of the pandemic, Rainier’s divisions shifted our manufacturing capabilities from our shade and display products to PPE products including face shields, social distancing stickers, decals and signage and acrylic partitions, and fully engineered tent solutions which can be used for mobile screening, patient care, and social distancing requirements for a variety of business types. Check out this video to learn more.
- The farmer-owners of Tillamook Creamery have committed $4 million relief plan to help employees, communities and industry partners respond to and recover from the COVID-19 crisis. “Caring for our community has been a core part of the values we were founded on more than a century ago, and it’s still who we are today,” said Patrick Criteser, Tillamook CEO. “We want to make a real impact. For us, that means supporting the people and the places that have supported us for so many years.” Read more here. When they recently closed their tasting rooms, they donated more than 1,000 pounds of food to the Oregon Food Bank and meals for seniors.
- Bob’s Red Mill, located in Milwaukie, is offering $5,000 grants to five restaurants in a lottery contest that ends this Friday, May 8. They’re calling it Restaurant Love, and more than 4,000 submissions have already been received. Visit bobsredmill.com for more information or to nominate your favorite restaurant!
- Target announced this week that on top of their previous donations of anti-viral and N95 respirator masks to first responders and healthcare professionals at more than 50 organizations across the country, they will also be donating an additional 2 million KN95 respirator masks to the medical community. Read the press release here. Target also released a retail reopening kit for small businesses and other retailers, based on the company’s experience responding to the pandemic. The toolkit includes best practices, as well as sign templates and other useful items. Find the toolkit here.
- Gallatin Public Affairs, based in Portland, this week announced that they have made donations and subscribed to The Oregonian, The Portland Tribune and the Willamette Week and encouraged other businesses to do the same. In this time of crisis, local news is on the front lines providing our communities with the information we need to stay safe.
- AT&T recently committed $200,000 nationally to support The Salvation Army's relief efforts across the US. A portion of that funding was distributed to their Salem chapter to provide free childcare for first responders in the area. AT&T also created a $10 million fund to support distance learning now that schools are closed due to the coronavirus situation.
- Worksystems Inc. has a launched a daily webinar for workers and businesses affected by COVID-19 on the organization's website.
- The Standard insurance company is holding benefit plan rates stable for groups of up to 500 employees with renews in May, June and July.
- Portland-based OBI members Morel Ink and Premier are participating in the Save Lives Stay Home Project, which is supporting health care workers on the front lines of the pandemic. Donations and poster sales will go toward direct payments to healthcare workers who have unmet financial needs. Learn more about Save Lives Stay Home here.
- Miles Fiberglass, a manufacturer based in Happy Valley and Oregon City, has announced it promptly switched production and was able to move labor forces to begin manufacturing Disposable Face Shields, which are critically needed by hospitals and medical workers to protect them from the COVID-19 virus.
- Roseburg Forest Products, based in Dillard, donated 500 N95 masks to health care workers in Oregon and is encouraging other businesses to do the same if they are able.
- Home Depot announced that they will be donating tens of thousands of items of personal protective equipment to Oregon’s front line communities.
- ESCO, a division of Weir Group, has supplied 15,000 masks to two Portland-area hospitals, including OHSU in a coordinated effort between ESCO’s Portland and Chinese teams, as well as one of their Chinese vendors. An additional 1,000 masks were donated to Friendly House, a legacy charitable partner of ESCO’s (Friendly House supports low-income communities through a variety of services).
- In Oregon, FirstNet, a broadband network partnership between the federal government and AT&T, is helping first responders and emergency managers stay connected as they deal with real-time issues related to the COVID-19 outbreak. To accomplish this, FirstNet is working closely with the Oregon Office of Emergency Management and has deployed a Satellite Cell on Light Truck (SatCOLT) to the state’s backup redundant command center at the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training complex in Salem. The SatCOLT boosts coverage so state and local agencies can better collaborate and coordinate timely responses to emerging issues.
- Pacific Motion LLC, a furniture manufacturer in Tualatin, is participating in the Providence 100 Million Mask Challenge. They are bringing an additional 6-8 people back to work every day to try to get to their goal of producing 80,000 masks per week.
- Boeing is using its 3D printing capacity to create face shields for critical health care workers, and the company has donated 25,000 units of personal protective equipment. Additionally, Boeing is using its airlift capacity, including the Dreamlifter, to transport critical supplies.
- Moda Health is partnering with Oregon’s craft distillers to produce a hand sanitizer, another commodity in dangerously short supply. They expect to produce as much as 20,000 gallons of sanitizer per week. Read more here.
- Community Management, Inc., a property management company in Portland, has been searching for face masks to protect their front-line staff. With everything out of stock or significantly more expensive, two of their community managers stepped in and hand sewed fabric masks for their nearly 130 employees.
- Dutch Bros Coffee announced that it will be donating all profits earned in the month of April to First Responders First, an organization that supports the workers on the frontlines of this public health crisis. Last month, Dutch Bros announced it would pay its "broistas" $3 per hour in bonus pay during the pandemic, and the Dutch Bros Foundation recently committed to donate $1 million to support COVID-19 relief efforts.
- U.S. Bank last month announced two new programs to support its employees and communities in response and recovery efforts. A Premium Pay Program will provide critical front-line employees with a temporary 20% hourly wage increase, while a new $30 million commitment to human services organizations and local nonprofits will support COVID-19 recovery efforts in communities across the country, including $50,000 locally in Oregon.
- A-dec, a dental supply manufacturer in Newberg, has completely retooled their operation to address the national shortage of personal protective equipment for frontline workers in the medical community. They are shipping thousands of protective masks per week to Legacy Health hospitals. Read the KGW News article about their generous effort here.
- The Intel Foundation is providing $4 million for global coronavirus relief efforts, with $1 million dedicated to support communities in Oregon. They also launched the Global Coronavirus Relief Matching Campaign for employees and retirees, where the Intel Foundation will match donations up to $2 million.
- Walmart is hiring 150,000 new associates by the end of May nationwide, including 1,200 in Oregon. To reward the hard work of their associates, Walmart is also providing more than $365 million in cash bonuses and is accelerating its next quarterly bonuses to pay up to $180 million nationwide. And it is enacting a new COVID-19 emergency leave policy.
- Walgreens has a website dedicated to services during the COVID-19 pandemic, including getting essential items to customers via a drive-up window. They are offering prescriptions delivery (where available), online health care provider consultation, and more.
- Nike is donating $15 million to COVID-19 response efforts.
- Bank of America is allowing some customers to defer mortgage and credit card payments in an assistance program and small businesses impacted by the coronavirus.
- Comcast is offering two months of free internet to low-income Internet Essentials customers and raising the speed of that program’s service. It is working to help people stay connected as schools suspend classes and companies encourage people to work from home.
- Portland General Electric has suspended non-payment disconnection during the coronavirus pandemic. They offer work with customers to find solutions.
- Pacific Power has also suspended nonpayment disconnections and late fees for residential, commercial and industrial customers. They ask customers facing difficulty to let them know as soon as possible.
- NW Natural pledged they will not disconnect customers who can’t make payment due to the impacts of coronavirus.
- Cascade Natural Gas is implementing a moratorium on service disconnections for non-payments related to hardships incurred from COVID-19.
- Avista is suspending all utility disconnections and collections, while honoring non-profit and sponsorship commitments.