Please share your experiences with workplace Covid response and compliance.
My current employers Covid response has been a nightmare. They had us working up to the day the city was closed. They allowed workers to go overseas to shop just before that travel bans were put in place. They have called us back to work with no temperature checks. They have laid out no protocol moving forward for alerting us if someone has tested positive. As their are ways to keep them anonymous but alert us that we may have been exposed.
This is appalling to read. I feel like every company should consult with NIH and CDC at the very least and get reopening plans approved before they consider hiring back or bringing back workers into the workplace. The lack of concern for humanity in the workplace is rampant and it needs to end. I would just walk away and find another job that is more ethical than that if I were you.
Right before the shutdown, I got screamed at before the shutdown for complaining that someone was in the office coughing terribly and they should be sent home. My boss screamed that if buyers thought someone had covid, nobody would come and I was killing his business!
My company was similar. The CEO had no regard for anyone’s health or safety and tried to require the head merchants to travel to the UK, even though the cases were growing at a rapid rate in Europe. He kept referring to it as being like the flu. Never mind that there were people going through cancer treatments and other health issues that already compromised their immune systems. When I said something to the head of HR I was retaliated against by being placed on furlough and then laid off.
same, at my now terminated last place, we found out, once we started working from home, 2 people had spouses who had been exposed and they were in the office and my VP was sick and lives in the community in upstate where the spread started, and she was in the office. Furloughed. They sent us all Masks with a note that said; We are in this together. Laid off last week.
Working from home was a taboo subject in March, laptops were not distributed easily, even to designer level employees.
I expressed concerns that my husband had been wfh now since beg of March, and I felt like I was just putting us at risk further by me having to go into the office, all met with pressure to keep coming in.
As my city moved to lockdown, we were finally allowed to wfh for a few weeks in March. The day after a huge design deadline was made by us all (despite the concerns that we would slack off if left to work from home), we were all furloughed.
We finally returned from an 8-week furlough with immediate sweeping layoffs. Those of us “lucky” to not get the axe were told to come into the office every other day (rotating with coworkers who otherwise sat next to us). Our city had not moved to phase 2 at this time and we really weren’t supposed to be in the office. Masks were required, they were provided, but no temp checks. No sanitizer spray or wipes were available for us to keep our areas clean, some hand sanitizer was placed around.
My first meeting back was 8 people crammed around a 4 ft table, everyone was grabbing at the things that were under review, 6 feet was not upheld.
They laid out a protocol on our return, but it really seems to be a lot of pretty words and reassuring statements. Like telling us to come in to the office before phase 2– they said we should come in to get things as needed and not stay full days. In reality, we were pressured to stay for longer periods of time and interact cross functionally with people while in the office.
Not sure where they are now bc I left the company as a result of their response, pay cuts after furlough, and a toxic work environment.
I’ve been hoping for the past few years that the fashion industry would start to get with the times, and embrace a more flexible, work from home/remote at least part of the time, culture. I’m in LA, and the overwhelming culture is very much “butts-in-seats”. I’ve even worked at a place that had bells that rang for the two 15-min breaks a day, when we were allowed to make phone calls/get a snack/smoke a cigarette/chat with coworkers while we walked around the block.
Fashion jobs are often about long hours, and long work commutes, and while I believe their are some things that simply need to done in office (meetings with vendors, reviews, fittings, collaboration) I think that many of us (myself included) are distracted and unproductive at least part of the time. Having a partial work from home policy, as needed, I think would be a plus for many workers.
I was hoping that some companies would start to embrace this work from home during COVID, and start to see that their employees can be valuable and productive, even if they are not under your watch for 8+ hours a day. My husband’s company (in Baby products) has fully embraced this, and all of upper management has been impressed at how they are able to move forward during this time, especially without schools, childcare being open.
But now that things are opening up, I’m saddened to hear that many companies are going back to “business as usual”. I had an in-person interview yesterday, and while everyone was wearing masks, the idea of being in a small office space with recirculated air, and everyone touching the same buttons/knobs/stuff, still makes me feel unsafe. And I am also disappointed that the old mentality of being in the office at all times still prevails at many places.
@twirlgirl were you at AG? I heard that’s how it is there.
Fortunately I work for a tech fashion company and they’ve been very up to the minute on protocols. The entire company is working from home. HR has been very responsive to the needs of the employees and they’ve tried to offer different types of benefits to their employees. It’s very disheartening to hear these types of responses from LA companies, but not surprising. That old school garmento mentality is very much alive and well in most traditional fashion companies.
@cremenow I mean easier said than done. Over half the industry is looking for work. If you leave you can’t collect unemployment. I really wish there were hard requirements for offices based on floor size and occupancy. This whole leave it up to each company is going to be a complete joke. There will companies that will do the bare minimum like mines.
Not AG… But good to know!
The place with the bells and the super rigid time structure was Lunada Bay Swimwear. Some people thrive there, but I felt like I was in prison!
I’m also in LA and have only worked for “butts in seats/working late > working efficiently” companies also. TBH I’d love to get two 15 minute breaks a day, haha. I’ve worked at places where if you’re chatting with a coworker for a minute while getting coffee in the break room, you’ll get a stink eye if your boss walks in. Insane.
Ooh, I’d love to hear what those companies are so I can avoid them! Maybe you should start a new thread?
I’ve definitely felt the side-eye too at some places… not a great feeling, especially when we work so much overtime!
I’ve had a lot of crappy jobs so if I listed them all, I’d out myself, ha!
I’m not defending any of these companies and by no means endorse their actions BUT keep in mind, NY, LA and SF city officials were downplaying the virus all the way up until the shutdown. In New York, the mayor and members of the city’s health department were telling people to carry on with their lives (go out to eat, the theater, etc…). One official even invited people to party at the Chinese New Year’s celebration. -unreal
What’s the name of the company?
The same thing happened with the company I work for.
Has anyone heard of any updates to the requirements for office compliance?? Do you know how to or where to report businesses that are not complying in NYC?
good for you for leaving.
that company you write about sounds horrendous.