JPMorgan is giving tellers, other 'front-line' employees dealing with coronavirus a $1,000 bonus

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Pedestrians walk past an american multinational investment bank and financial services holding company JPMorgan Chase Bank branch.

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JPMorgan Chase said it was giving bank tellers and other “front-line employees” a one-time bonus of up to $1,000 to help cushion the difficulties of working during the coronavirus pandemic. 

“Many of our front line employees in our branches, operations and call centers, and other key sites who continue to go into their office or branch each day face particular challenges related to issues like childcare and transportation,” the bank said in a Friday memo to employees.

“To help them meet these challenges and to recognize their ongoing commitment to our customers, clients and communities, we will make a one-time COVID-19 special payment equal to a maximum of US$1,000,” the bank said, adding that the payments couldn’t exceed “10% of salary/regular pay or fixed pay in certain countries.”

JPMorgan’s move may help shore up morale among employees who, because of the nature of their jobs, can’t work from home and therefore may face a higher risk of exposure to the coronavirus. The special bonus, which will be paid in $500 installments in April and May, applies to branch employees or workers who have to continue working at company buildings who earn less than $60,000. 

While the bank said Monday that it was encouraging all employees in 60 countries around the world to work from home if possible, that still left branch tellers, call center workers, traders and other essential staff working at company facilities.

The Trump administration has recommended that people avoid gatherings of more than 10 people, and an increasing number of local governments around the country are shuttering non-essential businesses to reduce the transmission of coronavirus. 

The biggest U.S. bank by assets is also giving all employees up to five extra paid leave days and extended the carryover period of unused vacation days from last year to help workers deal with child care or dependent care issues. Schools have been closed across the U.S. in response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The move follows JPMorgan’s announcement yesterday that it was temporarily shuttering 20% of its 4,976 branches to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. 

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