WeWork is offering a $100-a-day bonus to certain employees to keep its offices running in the U.S. and Canada during the coronavirus pandemic.
Days after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said there would be “a civil fine and mandatory closure” for non-essential businesses, WeWork, which is headquartered in New York City, announced the bonus.
Shyam Gidumal, the shared workspaces company’s chief operating officer, sent a memo dated Sunday to some of its employees with the weekday reward, which detailed that “the bonus will be based on each employee’s contribution and presence in the office to address specific member needs. The bonus award will range from $100 per day and up to $500 per week.”
WeWork is operating in states with a requirement to close all nonessential businesses, including New York and New Jersey, under the claim that keeping certain offices running qualifies as essential because of the tenants’ critical work. However, WeWork confirmed to USA TODAY that employees are able to work from home for full pay and coming into their office is completely voluntary.
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As of Tuesday, WeWork’s website states that all of its North America locations are open.
In statement to USA TODAY, WeWork CEO Marcelo Claure and Chairman Sandeep Mathrani called the company “a service provider” and said they had an obligation to keep the buildings open.
“In the same way we expect certain businesses to remain open for us – whether it be a fulfillment center to send us a package, a bank so we can handle finances, grocery stores and pharmacies to supply us our valued goods – we too have members counting on us to remain open so they can run their companies to generate revenue, pay their people, and continue serving their customers,” the statement said. “Where we believe we can operate our buildings safely, and in accordance with government policies, we will keep those buildings open.”
WeWork’s customer base is largely made up by small businesses and freelancers.
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