Amid the backdrop of the COVID-19 crisis, cable giant Charter Communications announced that it will not lay off or furlough any employees for at least the next 60 days.
“We are making this commitment to reassure our employees during this unprecedented time that we are facing together as a company and a nation,” the company said in a statement.
Charter has about 95,000 employees and — rare among U.S. businesses — has been hiring. It recently announced an expansion of Charter’s Spectrum call center operations, adding more than 350 new jobs in El Paso, Texas; 200 in Rotterdam, N.Y.; and 185 in Kansas City, Mo.
Earlier this month, the company announced a permanent wage increases for all hourly workers from $15 to $20 per hour over the next two years. That started with an immediate increase of $1.50 per hour for frontline field and customer operations employees; an additional $1.50 hourly raise will be effective March 2021 on top of an annual merit increase. As of 2022, all current and future hourly employees will have a starting rate of at least $20 per hour, according to the company.
Charter also is extending three weeks of coronavirus-related flex time to employees and has waived costs for diagnostic testing services and telehealth visits for 90 days.
Last month, the U.S.’s No. 2 cable operator (after Comcast) announced that it would offer free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with students at any service level up to 100 megabits per second.
Charter has about 29 million customers across a 41-state footprint. The company is set to report first-quarter 2020 earnings results May 1 before market open.