Kimball International is taking new actions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company released the following statement this afternoon:
At Kimball International, there is nothing more important than the health and safety of our employees, our customers and the communities in which we operate. As we face this time of unprecedented uncertainty, we have been taking action to proactively safeguard and support our people whose normal way of life is being impacted by COVID-19.
For our employees
We have set up an internal task force to manage both our proactive approach and our company-wide response plan and launched a global hotline and a dedicated internal website to direct employees’ questions, provide easily accessible facts and escalate issues.
Across the company, we have instituted new policies, including:
- We have asked all professional roles to work remotely, and have temporarily closed our showroom locations for at least two weeks.
- We have restricted all business travel, and have encouraged employees to reconsider personal travel based on CDC guidelines.
- We have introduced stringent guidelines to limit visitors at our many locations.
For our valued manufacturing employees, we have introduced several programs to support them, including:
- A new Voluntary Leave option that will allow our manufacturing employees to utilize Paid Time Off to continue receiving pay if they wish to stay at home. Beyond this, our plan is to provide additional Paid Time Off, which will be incremental to any existing PTO, to support all of our manufacturing employees. We look forward to sharing more details on this soon.
- A Special Care Program to provide up to two weeks of paid leave for employees that are considered higher risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19.
- A Manufacturing Employee Fund that will provide financial support to employees facing hardships caused by this issue.
“We understand these are challenging times for everyone and it is our top priority to support our employees through this crisis,” said Kristie Juster, CEO of Kimball International. “We want our employees to feel comfortable staying at home, and reassured that we are taking steps to provide manufacturing employees with additional paid time off to do so. For our employees that want to continue working, we have taken action to ensure we have a clean, safe work environment in place for them.”
We have also educated all employees on health and safety measures to keep themselves safe based on CDC guidelines and have enhanced cleaning procedures at our facilities across the globe. We will continue to evaluate and implement measures to best support all of our employees as this issue develops.
For our customers and the community
At the same time, at Kimball International, we are also committed to playing a productive role in supporting people through this crisis by focusing on our healthcare business. We have seen significant interest in our Quickship for Crisis Program, which supplies products for triage and rapid response patient rooms.
“We want to do as much as we can to provide necessary tools to the providers that are saving lives and protecting our communities,” said Phyllis Goetz, Executive Vice President, Kimball International and President, Kimball. “In addition to our Quickship for Crisis Program, we’re also pivoting quickly to provide products beyond our typical Kimball Health portfolio to meet the increasing needs in healthcare.”
Our goal is to move quickly to assemble a manufacturing workforce staffed by employees who elect to continue working. This will allow us to maintain an operation that will prioritize the needs of our healthcare clients.
At this time, we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 within our company, but we are taking these actions now because we feel it is it the right thing to do. We’re working as quickly as possible, despite the rapidly changing environment, to make thoughtful, informed decisions that best support our employees, our customers and our community.
This company has a rich history of banding together to help each other through crisis, and we are confident together we will once again rise to that challenge.
About the Special Care Program
Kimball International is allowing manufacturing employees who are considered to have a higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 to stay home from work for up to two weeks. To ease financial concerns over this time away from work, qualifying Kimball International employees will be granted paid leave for up to two weeks with pay and benefits.
About the Manufacturing Employee Fund
For employees that do not fall into higher-risk categories, we want to encourage them to stay home if they are sick, and to self-isolate, as recommended by CDC. The Manufacturing
Employee Fund will provide financial support to employees facing hardships caused by this issue.