Lowe’s Home Improvement joins a growing list of retailers requiring its workers to wear masks amid the novel coronavirus crisis.
Lowe’s announced Monday it immediately will require all associates to wear a face mask or approved face covering while working in a store or at a customer’s home. Masks and gloves will be made available to workers, the Mooresville.-based company said in a press release.
The company also will “continue to evaluate and adjust our operations to meet the evolving guidelines from the CDC and local officials around customer and associate safety,” said Marvin Ellison, Lowe’s CEO and president.
Masks or face coverings are not required by North Carolina or Mecklenburg County government officials.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings, along with following social distancing measure, to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.
According to Home Depot’s website, it provides non-medical face coverings and gloves to employees but does not require they were them.
Some companies are requiring customers as well as workers to wear face coverings.
Lowe’s also is adding another $80 million in bonuses for hourly workers this month. Each full-time employee will receive $300, and part-time and seasonal workers will get $150.
Lowe’s total commitment during the COVID-19 crisis since March is now at $250 million, which included the same pay raise two months ago and $2-an-hour pay raises for all hourly workers at stores, contact centers and supply chain facilities.
The company also offers paid time off for qualified workers and telemedicine benefits for all hourly workers and their families, even if they are not enrolled in Lowe’s medical benefits, according to the company.
More safety steps
Lowe’s stores have added other shopping options, including curbside pick-up through its mobile app.
Stores also have focused on social distancing measures such as limiting the number of customers in stores, changing store layouts to allow more space in aisles and added shields at counters and registers.
Lowe’s operates almost 2,000 home improvement and hardware stores in the U.S. and Canada. The company has about 300,000 employees.