Sodexo works to help employees during campus closure

Sodexo works to help employees during campus closure

T he economic challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic stretch worldwide. Many face reduced hours or in some cases unemployment.

This is a difficult time for many, including Georgia College dining’s frontline staff. However the university and their dining partner, Sodexo, are working to help employees as much as possible.

Brian Losonsky, general manager at Georgia College for Sodexo Universities, has led the effort in connecting employees with resources and rallying for assistance for them.

“Our employees’ health and security are on our minds,” he said. “It’s impressive to see local community step up to support each other.”

Sodexo is working closely with government agencies and utilizing other tools to aid employees during this time.

“On March 17, we reached out directly to the Georgia Department of Labor (DOL),” said Losonsky. “We identified that due to the nature of our impending closure, our employees would be eligible for unemployment benefits. The DOL provided instructions to file unemployment claims on behalf of our staff.”

Also provided for employees, the opportunity to be temporarily be reassigned to open Sodexo sites, including healthcare and senior living facilities, where possible.

“In instances where team members are not able to be temporarily reassigned, we will do whatever we can to help them by providing the option to utilize any paid time off that they have accrued or would accrue by the end of the year,” said Losonsky. “That would ensure medical benefits will remain active for the duration that the employees would typically work, extend their sick leave related to COVID-19 for up to 21 days for all part-time and full-time staff, and facilitate unemployment claims, as well as, other applicable measures following the passage of assistance legislation.”

In early April, the company announced the creation of an Employee Global Relief Program to benefit Sodexo employees who find themselves out of work because of the COVID-19 crisis.

“We also shared with our team sign-up information for the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund available through the National Restaurant Association,” said Losonsky.

Another measure in place, the organization is promoting the use of Sodexo staff where possible with various parts of the supply chain that may need extra help, including grocery stores, warehouses and other facilities.

“Sodexo coordinated employment partnerships with these outside companies and provided a direct link for application to our frontline team members,” said Losonsky.

Even as this rapidly changing situation evolved, staff and Sodexo leadership are there to lend support for all employees.

“Recently, we realized that there was a delay receiving unemployment payments for many on our staff,” said Losonsky. “In response, Sodexo management is gathering and packaging grocery staples to provide to our local team members,” Losonsky said.

“We want to quickly act to eliminate the possible instances of food insecurity with our staff.”