Rutter's boosts pay, Sheetz alters menu due to coronavirus
Rutter’s has announced it will give hourly workers a temporary wage increase during the coronavirus outbreak.
The $2 an hour increase will begin on Wednesday, the Manchester Township-based convenience store chain said in a news release.
All hourly store employees, including field and maintenance technicians, will receive the increase. Salaried restaurant and store managers also will receive a $100 weekly bonus throughout the crisis.
“With our stores and dairy having both been defined as critical food and fuel infrastructures, our team continues to do our best to stay open and provide important services to all those in need,” President & CEO Scott Hartman said in the release.
Gas stations and convenience stores were exempted from Gov. Tom Wolf's order shuttering all "non-life-sustaining" businesses.
Nationally, chain stores such as Walmart, Target and Amazon also have granted $2 per hour pay increases to their employees.
“In staying open, we want to make sure that the hard work and sacrifice of our great team members on the frontline does not go unnoticed," Hartman said.
Rutter's will also "enhance" employee benefits, he said.
The Sheetz convenience store chain, headquartered in Altoona, Blair County, also is making changes in response to COVID-19.
Company officials said Sheetz is suspending its self-serve coffee, cold beverages and bakery items in stores.
"These changes are in the best interest of our customers and employees as we remain a vital resource for our communities," Travis Sheetz, president and CEO, said in a news release.
Sheetz said those who want to purchase a cup of coffee should use the touch-screen terminals or ask an employee for assistance in serving the coffee.
All self-service cold beverages including fountain beverages, fresh brewed tea, frozen drinks and F’Real milkshakes are temporarily unavailable, although a wide range of cooler drinks still can be purchased.
Self-serve bakery items such as doughnuts and muffins also have been suspended, the release said.
Sheetz said his company will continue its daily cleaning procedures, with a focus on high-touch areas such as gas pumps, order points, counter tops, checkout lines and door handles.
The company said it will provide an additional two weeks paid time to any employee who contracts the virus or is subject to quarantine because of exposure.
Sheetz said employees with pre-existing health conditions or compromised immune systems who are vulnerable to the virus are eligible for leave without fear of losing their jobs.
Rutter’s, meanwhile, said it will offer emergency paid sick leave and extended family and medical emergency leave to dairy employees.
The company said it will provide more than 500 employees 80 hours of paid time off, as of April 2, for any qualified employee who has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine because of COVID-19 or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis.
Rutter's said its employees are responsible for upholding its stringent safety standards by cleaning high-touch surfaces such as food kiosks, fuel pumps, door handles, credit card machines, ATMs and cash registers.
The company said it also has installed additional hand sanitizer stations throughout its stores for employee and customer use.
— Ron Musselman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter at @ronmusselman8.