Lowe's hiring for 30,000 positions, giving employees $80 million in bonuses because of coronavirus

Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY

Lowe’s is hiring 30,000 workers and giving employees $80 million in bonuses as part of its response to the growing coronavirus pandemic.

The bonuses for the home improvement chain's 300,000 employees range from $150 for part-time workers to $300 for full-time workers, Lowe's president and CEO Marvin Ellison said in an interview with USA TODAY Wednesday.

The bonus payments, which will be issued March 31, won't be subject to withholding tax, Ellison said. 

"We're spending less time thinking about the revenue and less time thinking of anything other than can we give our associates the support that they need, can we be a good corporate citizen. can we do all that we can to help in these really unprecedented times," Ellison said.

The company also is offering employees most susceptible to the coronavirus up to four weeks of emergency paid leave, Ellison said, which is similar to a program Target announced last week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said people over 65, pregnant or with underlying medical conditions are at risk to COVID-19. 

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Ellison said company is offering free Teladoc services to employees and their families regardless of whether they are on the health care plan.

The company is based in North Carolina.

Like other retailers, Lowe's is starting to install sneeze guards or plexiglass barriers or partitions in stores, Ellison said, noting they're moving as quickly as they can. There also are reminders of social distancing in signage and store announcements.

Ellison said Lowe's has donated N-95 masks to medical centers across the country.

As of March 23, Lowe's has temporarily reduced hours at its nearly 2,000 stores and closing earlier. Opening times remain the same but stores will close at 8:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 7 p.m. on Sunday.

Other retailers including Walmart, Target, CVS and Walgreens have also given bonuses to workers or temporarily increased pay due to COVID-19-related  demand.

Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Coronavirus: Lowe's giving employee bonuses, hiring 30,000 positions