High-Demand Workers See Benefits Boost Amid Pandemic

President Donald Trump signed a $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill Friday, but some employers stepped up and started enacting or strengthening policies meant to help protect and provide for their workers before the federal government got in gear.

Temporary pay increases and expanded paid leave policies are among some of the benefits employers started offering as the nation grapples with the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus that emerged at the end of 2019. […]

W. Michael Gradisek, who chairs the employee benefits and executive compensation practice at Duane Morris LLP, said that he has been fielding a lot of questions about continuing benefits to furloughed employees.

Companies are trying to do the right thing for their workers, Gradisek said, but while that might seem simple, it can actually be quite complicated.

Some employers have been trying to convey that while they can’t pay employee salaries while shut down, they still value the workers and want them to return when things are up and running again, he said.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty, but I don’t think people are totally throwing in the towel yet,” Gradisek said.

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