As employees speak out against "profit coming before safety" amid the coronavirus pandemic, top Lowe's executive Jennifer Weber is netting a major paycheck after quitting her position. Weber had been working as executive vice president of HR since March of 2016, though she has quit "effective immediately," raking in $2.5 million following her resignation.
According to the Idaho Reporter, Lowe's Companies, Inc. and Weber entered "into a Release and Separation Agreement" that will see her netting $2,508,000 in severance pay. That pay will be split into equal installments that will be paid over a 24-month period following the Departure Date. As the outlet reports, that means that Weber will be receiving roughly $100,000 every month for the next two years.
The Daily Mail reports that that hefty number comes after Weber sold 12,589 shares at $112.62 per share for a total of $1.42 million in September. It also comes as the retailer faces criticism from employees over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, with many stating that they are being forced to work in unsafe conditions. On Thursday, it was confirmed that one employee at an Austin, Texas, location had died from the coronavirus.
"I had to provide my own cotton mask, and I'm wearing my work gloves and washing them out at night," one Lowe's employee said. "Most of my coworkers don't have any masks, and the cashiers are the only ones who have gloves. Corporate was supposed to send us masks and gloves this week, but so far they haven't arrived at the stores. There's no budget for buying the stuff elsewhere."
"Safety should come before profit, period. If you don't have safe and healthy employees, you don't make a profit. Put them first," another told Mel Magazine. "You're being forced to jump through hoops to get the two weeks off, and that's only if you can get your manager to approve it. I've seen associates with fairly major medical issues get turned down."
Keeping its stores open throughout the pandemic, the company recently announced that it would be raising hourly wages by $2 for all full-time, part-time and seasonal hourly associates. It also announced that stores would begin closing early to allow time to restock and sanitize. That same announcement confirmed that Lowe's would begin providing masks and gloves available to all associates. Other measures announced included the development of an app to implement a new customer limit protocol, enhanced social distancing protocols, and updates to floor layouts to further support the CDC's guidelines for social distancing.