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Hobby Lobby said Jesus told them to stay open, so now they are cutting workers’ pay and denying them all sick leave just like Jesus would do

Hobby Lobby told managers to ‘make every effort to continue working the employees’ and denied employees paid sick leave. We got a look at the full memo.

Bethany Biron Mar 23, 2020, 4:11 PM

hobby lobby storefront
  • In an internal Hobby Lobby memo obtained by Business Insider, the company told managers that sick employees must use personal paid time off and vacation pay or take an “unpaid leave of absence until further notice.” 
  • In the case of mandated store closures, the memo said employees will be eligible for emergency pay only after paid time off and vacation days have been depleted, at which point they will receive 75% of their regular rate of pay based on an average of shifts from the previous six weeks.
  • “The district manager has said that our stores will remain open until the National Guard comes in and physically shuts the buildings down,” a Hobby Lobby manager told Business Insider. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Shortly after Hobby Lobby founder David Green reportedly told employees he will leave stores open as a result of a message from God, the craft store chain is now refusing paid sick leave for ill workers amid the coronavirus outbreak. 

In a memo sent to store managers on March 23 that was obtained by Business Insider, Randy Betts, Hobby Lobby’s vice president of store operations, wrote that the company “is going to make every effort to continue working the employees.” In cases of illness, Betts wrote that sick workers would be required to use personal paid time off and vacation pay or take an “unpaid leave of absence until further notice.” 

According to the memo, if a store is required to close because of a state or federal mandate, employees will first be required to use “all available paid time off benefits.” After those resources are depleted, workers will be eligible for “emergency pay” that is 75% of their regular rate of pay, and the payments will be made not based on scheduled shifts, but rather “on the average hours during the previous six weeks.”

Hobby Lobby did not respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

A Hobby Lobby district manager, who spoke on condition of anonymity to protect his job and whose employment status was confirmed by Business Insider, wrote in an email that he felt “very anxious about this whole situation.” 

“Our management has doubled down on the work stance, and the district manager has said that our stores will remain open until the National Guard comes in and physically shuts the buildings down,” the employee wrote. 

You can read the full memo — with more details about how Hobby Lobby will have employees seek unemployment benefits if they fall

https://www.businessinsider.com/hobby-lobby-told-managers-denied-employees-paid-sick-leave-memo-2020-3?IR=T

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