I’ve honestly been waiting for this – for Hobby Lobby to do the right thing and they have (finally).
As of today, Hobby Lobby Has Officially Closed All Their Stores and Furloughed Employees.
Now, I know this might be upsetting for those working for Hobby Lobby but considering the company has kept stores open despite many stay at home orders in the states where locations exist, this is a good thing.
A few weeks ago, they told employees they were considered “essential” and made the decision to remain open. They even went behind the backs of local government agencies and re-opened stores when they weren’t supposed to.
Truthfully, I don’t think Hobby Lobby is an essential business. Sure, they have craft stuff to keep kinds entertained, but you can find that online or at another retailer.
Nonetheless, Hobby Lobby announced that as of tonight, all their stores are closed until further notice.
The announcement came via a public letter on their website saying:
As the country continues efforts to manage and mitigate the devastating health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 virus, Hobby Lobby will, after careful consideration, close the remainder of its stores, and furlough nearly all store employees and a large portion of corporate and distribution employees, effective Friday, April 3rd, at 8:00 p.m. The stores will remain closed until further notice.
They have also furloughed nearly all of their employees which under law, would allow them to receive unemployment benefits (if they are able to).
While some companies like Starbucks for example, are out right paying their employees during this time off, Hobby Lobby furloughed theirs.
They did say the company was paying all employee medical premiums for medical benefits so there is at least that.
In order to allow our furloughed employees to take full advantage of the Pandemic Unemployment Compensation and Recovery Rebates provided to eligible employees by the federal government, we are ending emergency leave pay and suspending use of Company provided paid time off benefits (PPTO and Vacation) in accordance with the requirements outlined in the CARES Act (subject to State law requirements). However, we will maintain medical, dental, life, and long-term disability benefits for employees while furloughed through at least May 1, 2020, and will pay the cost of employee premiums for these benefits on behalf of employees while furloughed without pay. We encourage furloughed employees to file their claims with their State’s unemployment commissions as soon as possible. Upon return, employees will retain their original dates of hire and any accrued PPTO and Vacation. Our sincere gratitude goes out to our dedicated employees at this difficult time, and we look forward to the day when we can welcome them back, once we are able to reopen.
So, if you or someone you know works for Hobby Lobby, you might want to apply for unemployment ASAP.
I am at least glad Hobby Lobby finally saw that keep their stores being open were doing more harm than good (I did hear it was more that their sales were down) but I feel terrible for their employees, they deserve better in my opinion.
You can read the full announcement here.