JPMorgan, BofA Give Extra Pay to Employees Who Can’t Go Home
An employee wearing a protective mask works at a computer. (Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

JPMorgan, BofA Give Extra Pay to Employees Who Can’t Go Home

(Bloomberg) -- Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. plan to make special payments to branch, call-center and operations employees who can’t work from home during the coronavirus pandemic.

JPMorgan, the biggest U.S. bank, will make payments of $1,000 -- $500 next month, and the rest in May -- to branch workers as well as operations and call-center staff who make less than $60,000 in total annual cash compensation. At Bank of America, eligible staff working in branches will receive a $200 supplement in their biweekly paychecks.

Bank tellers, call-center employees and support staff are part of the roughly 70% of American workers who don’t have the ability to work from home. They’re among the 100 million people likely to be the last ones at work even as colleagues set up shop in home offices or at kitchen tables.

The workers “face particular challenges related to issues like child care and transportation,” JPMorgan’s operating committee said in the memo to staff Friday. The payments are a way to “help them meet these challenges and to recognize their ongoing commitment to our customers, clients and communities.”

JPMorgan has urged its worldwide employees who are based out of corporate offices to work remotely when they can as part of the global effort to combat the spread of Covid-19 through social distancing. The bank has also temporarily shut about 1,000 of its branches across the country -- about 20% of them -- and has shortened operating hours at those that remain open.

Days Off

The company also is planning to give all its workers an extra five paid days off, according to the memo. The bank has said it will also pay branch staff for their regularly scheduled shifts even if their hours are reduced or their branch is closed.

At Bank of America, workers at call centers and in operations who continue going into the office will receive two times the hourly base pay for overtime, compared with the normal time and a half, according to a company memo seen by Bloomberg.

On Friday evening, Bank of America branch hours will be shortened to 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. local time Monday through Friday, with regular hours on Saturdays. Branch staff will continue to be paid for their full weekly schedules even if hours are reduced.

Read more: BofA hired 1,700 people this month with consumer unit bulking up

Citigroup Inc. has told employees that any rolled-over vacation days from 2019 can now be used through the end of the year, replacing an earlier end-of-the-month deadline, a spokeswoman said. The lender has also told workers that extra sick days during the pandemic won’t count toward paid time off.

Vulnerable Populations

The company has asked employees who are part of vulnerable populations -- such as older workers and those who are pregnant -- to stay home, with pay continuing even if their jobs can’t be done from outside the office. If a worker has difficulty arranging childcare and misses work, Citigroup has promised pay wouldn’t be affected either.

Citigroup also has begun reimbursing employees for any transportation costs incurred for going to the office while avoiding public transportation.

Wells Fargo & Co. is offering workers an in-home backup child care benefit, as well as reimbursements of $100 per day for child care that hourly employees arrange on their own, along with extra time off to arrange child care if needed, a spokeswoman said. The bank has more than 100,000 employees working from home.

The San Francisco-based lender also said it will donate $10 million to a fund that assists employees facing financial hardship.

Capital One Financial Corp. said some workers in branches or customer-support functions will receive an additional $5 or $10 an hour. All employees will receive their full pay even if schedules are shortened or their locations are closed, the company said in an emailed statement.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.