Inside the Stagecoach
March 20, 2020

Supporting our employees during the COVID-19 crisis

Wells Fargo is supporting employees while protecting public safety through enhanced cleaning, social distancing in bank branches, remote work arrangements, benefit changes, and more.

Updated April 24, 2020 | This story has been updated to include new actions the company has taken.

Image of Wells Fargo branch and COVID-19 update title

For the first time in Wells Fargo’s history, bank branches across the U.S. imposed new social distancing guidelines March 19 — maximizing the distance among customers, and between customers and employees, in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Guidelines.

Customers found lobby chairs moved six feet apart, customer chairs in banker offices moved, and the floors marked so they knew where to stand in the teller lines. 

“Our employees are doing incredible work to serve our customers during this challenging time. We want to do all we can to give them as much peace of mind as possible as they deal with disruptions in their own personal lives while continuing to be there for our clients, customers, and communities.” — Scott Powell, Chief Operating Officer

Wells Fargo has:

  • Changed its short-term disability plan for U.S.-based employees so employees impacted directly with COVID-19 aren’t using paid time off during the seven-day waiting period. In addition, the short-term disability schedule was enhanced. Employees with fewer than four years of service will be eligible for four weeks at 100% pay rather than 65% pay.
  • Updated its U.S. medical plan to eliminate coinsurance and fully cover the cost of any medically necessary screening and testing for COVID-19 and, for the next 90 days, eliminated cost sharing for medical virtual office visits in most of the medical plans.
  • Granted up to five paid business days off after a school system’s closure announcement to U.S. hourly employees who can’t work remotely so they can find child care.
  • Provided financial support for child care for U.S. employees with children ages 13 and under, including a new $100 per day reimbursement for eligible employees seeking child care through their own personal networks. The benefit applies to hourly employees as well as salaried employees with a base salary of less than $100,000 who are unable to work from home.
  • Across our global footprint, created remote-working programs, purchased thousands of new desktops, laptops, and other equipment for remote workers, and increased network bandwidth to support expanding the number of users to reduce the number of employees in work locations and aid social distancing.
  • Announced it will make cash payments to employees whose roles call for them to serve customers and colleagues in branches, contact centers, and other offices. For eligible U.S. employees, starting with the April 17 pay period, it will make payments of $200 per pay period for five pay periods for those with base pay of less than $100,000. For eligible international employees, payments and timeframes will vary.
  • Announced a one-time award to 170,000 employees making less than $100,000 as thanks for their efforts to transform the company. In the U.S., that award will be $600 (for full-time employees) and $300 (for part-time employees). For international employees, the qualifying earnings threshold for receiving the award and the amount of the award will be tailored to local compensation and competitive practices.
  • Made a $10 million grant to its WE Care employee relief fund, which provides resources to U.S. and international employees who face a catastrophic disaster or financial hardship resulting from an event beyond their control. This program is available to those affected by coronavirus and is intended to help team members, especially those with limited resources, get back on their feet with basic necessities. Added new flat grants of up to $1,500 that qualifying employees can use for mortgage, rent, or other assistance while continuing to work.
  • Significantly increased Team Member Care staff to answer employee questions about workplace safety, health, and other concerns.
  • Restricted access to U.S. and international contact centers, operations centers, and trading floors to only those employees working there.
  • Eliminated all nonessential travel and strongly discouraged gatherings of 10 or more employees.
  • Canceled or postponed sponsorships events with more than 10 people and employee in-person volunteering.
  • Implemented enhanced cleaning procedures in branches, offices, customer contact centers, and operations centers following CDC or local public health guidance, and increased shipments of hand sanitizer wipes and other supplies. Alternative sources for hand sanitizer are being sought so first responders are prioritized.
  • Installed see-through barriers at bank branches to make it safer for employees to serve customers.
  • Established a set of protocols so high-risk or potentially infected employees can stay at home, as well as procedures for reporting suspected exposures and cleaning facilities after confirmed exposures.
  • Installed signs at branches and added messages on ATMs asking those who are sick or quarantined to do their banking digitally until they are well.
  • Created the site with updates and resources for navigating the COVID-19 outbreak, including customer service options and tips to begin using the company’s digital banking features.

“Our employees are doing incredible work to serve our customers during this challenging time,” Powell said. “We want to do all we can to give them as much peace of mind as possible as they deal with disruptions in their own personal lives while continuing to be there for our clients, customers, and communities.”