Tyson Foods doubles bonuses, increases health benefits and protections for frontline workers

National and World

According to a press release, the company is offering $120 million in “thank you bonuses” for 116,000 U.S. frontline workers and truckers

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — As part of ongoing efforts to support frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, Tyson Foods, Inc. is doubling bonuses, increasing short-term disability coverage and implementing additional health screening measures.

According to a press release, the company is offering $120 million in “thank you bonuses” for 116,000 U.S. frontline workers and truckers. This is up from the $60 million announced in early April. 

The company is moving up the first $500 bonus payment to early May.

The second $500 bonus will be paid in July.

Team members who cannot come to work due to illness or childcare will continue to qualify, but bonus eligibility will depend on attendance.

Tyson Foods said it is also increasing short-term disability coverage to 90% of normal pay until June 30 for team members who are unable to work due to illness.

The company has been checking worker temperatures, the release said. Now it will also:

  • Screen workers for additional symptoms, such as coughing and shortness of breath
  • Have designated monitors at each facility to help enforce social distancing
  • Require the use of company-provided surgical-style face coverings

This pandemic is ever-evolving, and the decision to make these changes reflects our desire to continuously explore new ways of supporting our team members through this crisis. The safety and well-being of our people is our top priority as we work together to fulfill our critical role of feeding people across the country.

Mary Oleksiuk, executive vice president and chief human resources officer for Tyson Foods

The release said Tyson Foods waived the waiting period to qualify for short-term disability, so workers are immediately paid if they get sick with COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms.

In addition, it has:

  • Waived the co-pay, co-insurance and deductible for doctor visits for COVID-19 testing as well as eliminating pre-approval or preauthorization steps
  • Waived co-pays for the use of telemedicine through Doctor On Demand
  • Relaxed refill limits for 30-day prescriptions of maintenance medication 

Tyson Foods created a coronavirus task force in January, the release said.

Since then, the company has been:

  • Taking worker temperatures and is installing more than 150 infrared walkthrough temperature scanners in its facilities
  • Seeking a supply of face coverings before the CDC recommended their use and now requires them in company facilities
  • Doing additional deep cleaning and sanitizing in company facilities
  • Implementing social distancing measures, such as installing workstation dividers and providing more breakroom space, including outdoor tents
  • Relaxing its attendance policy to encourage workers to stay at home when they’re sick

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