As its stores remain closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Ross Stores will temporarily furlough the majority of its store and distribution center associates, as well as some other associates across the business starting on Sunday, April 5, and until operations can resume in their areas.
All furloughed employees will remain Ross associates with no change to their health benefits. In addition, Ross will pay the employee portion of premiums for those furloughed who currently receive health benefits through the company. Management’s goal is to keep associates safe and get them back to work as quickly as possible once stores reopen. In the interim, furloughed associates will be eligible to apply for unemployment benefits.
Barbara Rentler, CEO, Ross Stores, said, “Our decision to furlough associates was difficult, but necessary as we navigate through this unprecedented situation. As we take this step, Michael Balmuth, chairman of the board, and I will receive no salaries. Our senior executive team has also agreed to take substantial salary cuts during this period, with smaller salary reductions cascading down to all associates through a certain level. In addition, the company’s outside board members have agreed to forgo their cash retainer. Our objective with these actions today is to strengthen our ability to navigate through the challenges and uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic for communities and businesses across the country. Our stores remain closed to help prevent the further spread of the coronavirus and as we prioritize the health of our associates and our customers. The goal is to safely reopen our stores as soon as we are able and return to our mission of providing great bargains for our customers.”