SEATTLE -- Starbucks is trying to make sure its employees have the tools they need to cope not only with a new coronavirus but also the stress accompanying the pandemic.
Workers at the coffeehouse chain will have access to mental-health resources and can be compensated for any scheduled shifts they miss because of the COVID-19 virus.
Starbucks' Executive Vice President Rossann Williams wrote a letter to employees on March 11 that stated:
"You have our full support when it comes to partner care, including access to catastrophe pay, benefits that support your physical and mental health, as well as a network of prnters who are all here to help."
Starbucks employees have access to benefits such as the "Cup" fund -- it was started for workers facing unexpected financial hardships. The company's employee assistance program offers free counseling to workers and members of their household.
The company has also added a subscription to the meditation app Headspace -- a direct response to the statistic that one in five adults experience mental illness each year.
Starbucks is based on Washington state, the hardest-hit state, with 29 deaths due to coronavirus thus far.