The coronavirus (COVID-19) has killed more than 320 and infected nearly 30,000 others in the U.S. And as stores shutter across the nation to help mitigate the spread of the virus, Hobby Lobby has decided to keep its doors open.
Hobby Lobby announced it will stay open in a March 17 notice addressed to its customers. According to the letter, it is enhancing store cleaning, prohibiting employee international travel, restricting employee domestic travel, and planning to send any employee suspected of having the coronavirus to receive medical care. The store has more than 900 locations and 43,000 employees in the U.S., and the majority of its employees do not have health benefits, according to its employee benefits guide.
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A redditor claiming to be a Hobby Lobby employee leaked an alleged March 19 letter that was sent to store managers by the chain’s CEO, David Green.
“I’m scared and Coworkers are also scared. Some people have outright walked out. Considering doing the same soon. Why do I have to put up with this?” the alleged employee wrote.
Green and his wife Barbara are reportedly devout Christians. In the letter, Green allegedly calls Barbara a “prayer warrior.”
“In her quiet prayer time this past week, the Lord put on Barbara’s heart three profound words to remind us that He’s in control. Guide, Guard, and Groom,” Green allegedly wrote. “We serve a God who will Guide us through this storm, who will Guard us as we travel to places never seen before, and who, as a result of this experience, will Groom us to be better than we could have ever thought possible before now.”
Green, who has a reported net worth of $6 billion, allegedly tells employees they may have to “tighten their belts” during the pandemic “to help ensure our Company remains strong and prepared to prosper once again when this passes.”
The Daily Dot has reached out to Hobby Lobby.
Last updated Mar 22, 2020, 9:17 am
Eilish O’Sullivan is the news wire editor for the Daily Dot. Her work has appeared in the Austin Chronicle and the Daily Texan.