Ascension vows to protect employee pay during COVID-19 pandemic

Commits to no layoffs

Ascension Wisconsin's new health center in Mount Pleasant.

Ascension said it will protect the pay of all its employees if they are temporarily assigned to a different job or unable to work because of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Joseph Impicciche, president and chief executive officer of the St. Louis-based health system, informed its nearly 160,000 employees that it will protect their pay and not lay off employees during the pandemic. The protection includes employees who cannot work because they have been diagnosed or are suspected of having COVID-19. 

“Ascension is committed to protect the pay of associates during this time of disruption from COVID-19, including a commitment to no layoffs and a variety of pay protection programs, and will continue doing so as long as possible,” Impicciche said. 

Ascension, which is the largest nonprofit health system in the country, has about 19,600 associates in Wisconsin. 

Ascension has established several programs to ensure pay protection, including furlough pay, pay continuation, PTO advance, worker’s compensation and short-term disability, Impicciche said. 

The system is also offering day care subsidies and reimbursements for employees who care for COVID-19 patients and may need to stay in a hotel to ensure social distancing from family members.

“We are blessed to be able to make this commitment and appreciate the tremendous work and flexibility of our associates, leaders and physicians in providing compassionate, personalized care,” Impicciche said. 

The health system recently announced it will not bill its uninsured patients for testing and treatment related to COVID-19, and it will not bill patients who are insured for out-of-pocket expenses, such as co-pays, related to testing and treatment for the virus.

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Lauren Anderson
Lauren Anderson covers health care, nonprofits, education and insurance for BizTimes. Lauren previously reported on education for the Waukesha Freeman. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied journalism, history and African studies. In her free time, Lauren enjoys spending time with family and friends and seeing live music wherever she can.