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Due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis, CVS Health and Walgreens are going on major hiring sprees that are likely to benefit pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. In addition, both drugstore chains announced bonuses for hourly workers.
CVS has plans to immediately fill 50,000 full-time, part-time, and temporary roles across the country, including store associates, home delivery drivers, distribution center employees, and member/customer service professionals, the retailer said in a press release.1
While a CVS spokesperson declined to say how many pharmacists and pharmacy techs will be hired, “We have many open positions for pharmacists, technicians, and workers with health care training,” Joseph Goode, senior director of corporate communications for CVS Health, told Drug Topics®.
There are numerous postings for pharmacists, pharmacy managers, pharmacy techs, and related positions on CVS’s website.
Similarly, Walgreens is hiring more than 9500 existing full-time, part-time, and temporary roles in stores across the United States, including pharmacy technicians, customer service associates, and shift leads, it said in a press release.2
Walgreens is also offering a 1-time bonus for all hourly employees of $300 for full-time workers and $150 for part-time employees, 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.”
CVS is awarding bonuses of between $150 and $500 to pharmacists and certain other health care professionals on the frontlines, as well as store associates and managers, and other site-based hourly employees.
Walgreens updated its attendance policy for hourly team members through the end of April, which allows 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 2 weeks of their absence will be paid, Walgreens said. “If they are unable to return to work after 2 weeks, an additional pay option may be available through disability leave. 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.”
CVS Health has 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 said.
Walgreens is also implementing social distancing guidelines to ensure a safer store experience for team members, customers, and patients. All stores now have a “Social Distancing Line,” which begins 6 feet away from all checkout counters. Six foot increments are also marked to indicate where customers should stand in line to ensure they are keeping appropriate distance from others.
1. CVS Health to provide bonuses, add benefits and hire 50,000 in response to pandemic [news release]. CVS Health’s website. https://cvshealth.com/taxonomy/term/111. Accessed March 23, 2020.
2. Walgreens Recognizes Ongoing Commitment of Hourly Team Members in Stores and Distribution Centers with One-Time Bonus [news release]. Walgreens’ website. https://news.walgreens.com/press-releases/general-news/walgreens-recognizes-ongoing-commitment-of-hourly-team-members-in-stores-and-distribution-centers-with-one-time-bonus.htm. Accessed March 23, 2020.