Kaiser Permanente, unions agree on benefits to help front-line workers during pandemic

Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente and its unions have agreed on an expanded set of temporary benefits to help staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the unions and Kaiser.

Kaiser developed the program with partners throughout the organization — including unions representing 150,000 of its employees — for front-line employees and physicians.

Kaiser is offering an additional 80 hours of paid time off for employees and physicians who have positive COVID-19 tests. It also is offering short-term housing at hotels near its medical centers and specialty hubs for employees and physicians who need temporary, alternate housing. This option is for those who test positive for COVID-19, work a double shift, work multiple 12-hour shifts; have fewer than eight  hours between shifts; or have a household member who has COVID-19 or is in a CDC-defined vulnerable group, according to the unions.

Kaiser employees who work at least 32 hours a week or more in a health system facility will be eligible for a $300 per week grant to pay for childcare for children 14 or younger (and disabled, dependent children), according to the unions. The stipend expires May 31 and will be prorated for employees who work 20 to 32 hours a week (including per-diem employees).

New and existing Kaiser benefits — such as its Employee Assistance Program, temporary financial assistance, discounted hotel accommodations, mental health and wellness programs and its community benefit programs — will also be more connected to each other under one umbrella, Kaiser said. 

A dedicated call center will be available to employees seven days a week to provide more benefits information.    


More articles on workforce:
How the pandemic is affecting nonclinical hospital workers
Kaiser Permanente-union partnership offers pandemic-readiness training to nurses
NYC Health + Hospitals to hire 500 nonclinical workers 


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