Bank of America ends supplemental pay program as COVID-19 cases spike


 Despite an uptick in coronavirus cases throughout the United States, Bank of America has put an end to a $200 bi-weekly supplemental pay program offered to its employees beginning in March.

The company told employees it would "transition our compensation plans to be more business-as-usual once again" and that the "$200 special supplemental pay and special enhanced overtime pay programs" would disappear at the end of October, according to an email obtained by Popular Information,

Although many Bank of America call-center employees are now working from home, branch employees have continued working at neighborhood locations. The announcement notes that the last payment was made to salaried employees on Oct. 23 and to hourly employees on Oct. 16.

Bank of America, which pledged earlier this year not to lay off any employees because of the pandemic, did not publicly announce the end of the hazard pay. A Bank of America spokesperson declined to comment.

The move comes less than a week after Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan gave a special "shoutout" to branch employees during remarks at Chief Executive magazine's gala for "CEO of the Year," an award he was given in July.

"I want to give a special shout out to our teammates who work every day in our branches," Moynihan said in his acceptance speech. "From the day the crisis hit, they’ve been out there, making sure the economy runs, making sure all of you – while we were all in work from home mode – have the ability to conduct your financial affairs. And they’ve done a great job."

During an interview with the magazine in October, a day before the supplemental program officially ended, Moynihan stressed that the company's "number one" priority during the pandemic has been to "take care of the employees."

While the supplemental payment program has ended, the company offers reimbursements for childcare and eldercare of $100 a day for employees making up to $100,000 a year and $75 a day for employees making $100,000 to $200,000 a year. According to the company, about 1.7 million days have been reimbursed so far.  In addition, Bank of America offers lunches for branch employees and reimbursements for transportation in some areas. The general transportation reimbursement is up to $100 a day and is applied to employees making up to $100,000 a year.

In the third quarter, when employees were receiving the additional payments, Bank of America made a profit of $4.9 billion over the three-month period ending Sept. 30

Bank of America is not the only institution that has offered its employees supplemental pay during the pandemic.

JPMorgan Chase offered a $1,000 bonus for front-line workers in March and Wells Fargo announced additional cash payments of $200 for front-line employees in April. A spokesperson for Wells Fargo told FOX Business, however, that the $200 payments were only given for five pay periods from April to June.

Wells Fargo added that it continues to offer "various other enhanced benefits" to support its employees.

Trust Bank also ended its supplementary pay program in June. However, a spokesperson told FOX Business that the company has offered nearly $100 million in special COVID-19 support for front-line employees. These measures include bonuses, special reimbursements for childcare, increases in emergency child- and elder-care benefits, enhanced onsite pay, and steps to enhance wellness and family support.

The company also offers no-cost telehealth and 100% coverage of COVID-19 testing and treatment as well as 10 additional days of paid time off for school closings or other child- or elder-care impacts. The company is also offering tools for teammates' in-home needs at no cost from mid-October to the end of the year, including caregiver search tools, virtual academic support, child care priority and discounts, nanny placement services, elder care resources, and pet sitters and housekeepers.

Eligible employees can also receive a child care reimbursement of $50 per day for a limited timeframe.

According to the latest update by Johns Hopkins University, there are more than 8.9 million confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States and more than 228,000 related deaths
.