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United in Defeating COVID-19

Protecting Employees

COVID Section Lede

Protecting and supporting our employees has been a top priority throughout the pandemic and our approach has included:

  • Keeping employees informed;
  • Ensuring the health and safety of our employees in the workplace;
  • Supporting employees with pay continuity, benefits and well-being tools; and
  • Recognizing employee contributions at work and in our communities.

We have instituted a variety of workplace enhancements for the one-third of our global 136,000+ employees who, as essential workers, continued to work at Johnson & Johnson sites and facilities every day throughout the pandemic, and supported others as they adapted to remote work arrangements. In line with our own standards and guidance from local healthcare and governmental authorities, we have gradually and thoughtfully been returning our people to the many places we work.

Keeping Employees Informed

At the start of the crisis, we established several communication channels so that employees could stay informed about the COVID-19 situation in their region, receive guidance in relation to Johnson & Johnson’s approach, and ask any question at any time and receive a fast response. We also conducted employee sentiment surveys weekly to gather feedback on a number of topics, including engagement, organizational support, and awareness and availability of resources. These surveys help to uncover how we can best support our employees and shape our approach. Key channels, in addition to these surveys and regular employee communications, included:

J&J Responds intranet
COVID-19 resources and regular newsletter
COVID-19 questions
Bank of responses to wide-ranging questions on any aspect of COVID-19
COVID-19 hotline
7 days a week, 24 hours a day, in local language
Global Services team portal providing rapid responses to COVID-19 questions
Video messages from our CEO and leaders
Regular updates and encouragement to our global employees

Ensuring the Health and Safety of Our Employees in the Workplace

We transitioned nearly two-thirds of our workforce to remote working at the onset of the pandemic, providing employees where relevant with necessary equipment and connectivity to work effectively while informing them of the necessary health and safety precautions for the remote working environment. Similarly, we developed guidance, tools and tracking mechanisms to effectively leverage Flexible Work Arrangements, as for many, a “regular” working day was not possible because of individual remote working circumstances.

Return to work in Waves: For the return to the workplace, we developed a comprehensive, phased approach, prioritizing employee health and safety. We categorized five return to work “Waves,” with Wave 0 representing our Onsite Superheroes who remained in the workplace for essential work through the pandemic, Waves 1 through 3 representing gradual expansion of workplaces, and Wave 4 representing unrestricted workplaces that we hope to achieve globally in 2021.

Onsite safety measures: Across our workplaces, we put in place safety measures that addressed key site-specific needs in our various types of environments including:

  • Workplace physical distancing
  • Enhanced cleaning, sanitization practices and new signage at our facilities
  • Mandatory use of masks
  • Visitor restrictions
  • Temporary physical barriers and furniture reconfiguration
  • Temperature screening and symptom questionnaires in line with government recommendations and indirect screening for symptomatic employees

In March 2020, with an impending shortage of alcohol-based hand sanitizer to protect our essential onsite colleagues, we retrofitted manufacturing lines across several operations to produce hand sanitizer. In just four days, we created a formula, assessed manufacturing capabilities, and ensured the standards met U.S. and European safety and quality regulations. Our first shipment commenced with 140,000 bottles to our essential U.S. sites and employees, followed by a ramp-up in production to allow for worldwide internal distribution. We subsequently distributed this alcohol-based hand sanitizer to hospitals in need around the world.

Medical support: Within days of identifying the first risk of COVID-19 for our employees in China, Johnson & Johnson established a clinical team around the world to support employees who had been potentially exposed to or infected with COVID-19. The global medical staff within Global Health Services provided tens of thousands of employees with medical case management and clinical support throughout the pandemic.

COVID-19 testing and vaccinations: During the year, Johnson & Johnson employees were able to receive COVID-19 tests at any approved testing facility, and in the United States, employees covered by Johnson & Johnson health insurance benefited from a home diagnostic test for COVID-19 at no charge. We established a COVID-19 Workforce Vaccination Taskforce to enable our workforce and their families to gain efficient access to COVID-19 vaccines through a coordinated, appropriate, and informed approach in line with governmental guidelines and priorities in each country.

Guidance for employees on information security and data privacy: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, our Information Security & Risk Management team launched an employee awareness campaign around protecting our employees' own data, and that of others, and also the security of Company data and systems, especially in remote working situations. We provided guidance on secure remote working practices, guidelines for social media use and how to recognize COVID-19 social engineering and phishing scams, highlighting ransomware attack methods and how to protect against them. We utilized our security technology capabilities to both identify and block inbound email scams and phishing threats sent under the guise of COVID-19.

Supporting Employees with Pay Continuity, Benefits and Well-Being Tools

At Johnson & Johnson, we have long championed policies that provide flexibility for our employees to balance personal and professional responsibilities, and we are continuously evaluating our offerings to meet the ever-changing needs of employees. When the pandemic hit, our teams acted quickly and strategically in order to adapt to meet the health and well-being needs of employees, enhancing our available resources into virtual programs that are accessible across our global network.
Peter Fasolo
Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer, Johnson & Johnson

During the pandemic, our objective was not only to protect the safety of our employees, but also to help them navigate the pandemic financially, practically and in a healthy state of mind. A selection of the benefits we provided follows:

Continuing salary and benefits
9 weeks of base salary and benefits for those unable to work remotely
A one-time Onsite Superhero award
Approximately $1,000 (differing by country) and one additional working week of paid time off for tens of thousands of essential on-site employees
Coverage of the full cost of in-network telemedicine visits

for any diagnosis, including COVID-19 for employees in the U.S. and for telemedicine advice for COVID-19-related symptoms for employees outside the U.S.
Continuity of our global Employee Assistance Program

24/7 access to counselors who understand pandemic-related stress for employees and their family members
Additional back-up dependent care
in the U.S. to support caregiving needs for children and elders when regular care is unavailable
Engagement in our 2020 global activity challenge
Employees took part in 70 countries, demonstrating a significant increase in physical activity
Expanded access to a digital resilience tool
Resiliency assessments, mental well-being educational and engagement resources and daily tips to support mental well-being
Expanded global exercise reimbursement
Substantial reimbursement for health and well-being activities, including the purchase of home exercise equipment and subscriptions (including mental health apps)
Recharge days
Our offices and sites closed Company-wide for two days, one in May and one in September, to allow colleagues to recharge
Hosted health and well-being webinars
Live and on-demand trainings worldwide to support total health and well-being and build resiliency while navigating the pandemic
Remote home office reimbursement
Reimbursement for home office equipment, including monitors, printers, furniture, office supplies, incremental internet or mobile service and more

Recognizing Employee Contributions at Work and in Our Communities

We could not be prouder of our employees’ resilience through the pandemic, both those who transitioned to remote working and those who continued in the workplace. We saw an outpouring of compassion and caring from our colleagues in every country at every level and a sense of solidarity as we brought our respective energies together to help each other and our communities make it through the crisis. Employees volunteered time and donated to relief efforts, and we all celebrated the inspiring dedication of those who maintained onsite operations.

Every day, I went to the hospitals to communicate with medical workers. I was afraid of infecting my son, so I wore a mask all the time. Every night, we’d do a video call with his mom.
Wang Donghua
Senior Strategic Account Manager for Medical Devices, Johnson & Johnson China, who hand-delivered PPE and other supplies to healthcare facilities at the outset of the outbreak in Wuhan, China. Wang’s wife is the head nurse in the respiratory and critical care department of a hospital in Wuhan, and at the time she was staying in a hotel to avoid infecting her family with COVID-19.

Employee volunteering: At the outset of the pandemic, Johnson & Johnson introduced a new global Medical Personnel Leave Policy. Medically trained employees who were called to serve, or who volunteered, benefited from paid leave to serve their communities in diagnosing, treating and providing health support for patients with COVID-19. More than 100 medically trained employees volunteered their time to combat COVID-19, supported by an investment of $600,000 by Johnson & Johnson.

Employee fundraising: Employees across Johnson & Johnson engaged in raising funds for COVID-19 response efforts through CARINGCROWD—our crowdsourcing platform created and operated by Johnson & Johnson Global Public Health (GPH). Through CARINGCROWD, employees led 27 distinct pandemic relief projects, including providing meals to frontline healthcare workers, supporting hospital staff, fighting COVID-19-related hunger, and addressing the needs of underserved people, including members of the Latinx community and the Navajo nation. Johnson & Johnson contributed 20% of the funding goal to kick off every employee-led COVID-19 project. In total, CARINGCROWD efforts garnered over $340,000 in pledges for COVID-19 relief in 2020.

Celebrating Onsite Superheroes: On our global intranet platform, we shared several personal stories of our Onsite Superheroes and their dedication in the workplace during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their individual stories illustrate the strength of Johnson & Johnson employees from around the world and their contributions in the most challenging of times.

See our video of special messages from Johnson & Johnson leaders to our Onsite Superheroes and their reactions from our sites around the globe.
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Video Companion
Celebrating Onsite Superheroes
See our video of special messages from Johnson & Johnson leaders to our Onsite Superheroes and their reactions from our sites around the globe.
Thank you to our Johnson & Johnson heroes (text).

Employees holding signs with home country flags and locations around the globe.

Hard at work in our operations around the globe (text).

When the world needs us (text).


You are making a real difference, in each moment of every day (text with collage of employees around the world holding signs of countries).

FOR Patients, consumers, health care professionals, customers, communities around the world (text).

THANK YOU For always upholding Our Credo (text).

THANK YOU For your dedication to the needs of the world (text).


Together we will change the trajectory of health for humanity (text).

We are Johnson & Johnson (text).
Every day, when I leave home I think of my family and hope I come back safely. It helps so much that when I arrive at work, our leaders tell us that we need to return home as safely as when we got there—and then they back up their words with actions. At this critical moment, they are providing hand sanitizer and masks, increasing cleaning procedures, holding extra safety meetings and asking us about our families and daily routines. We are the Onsite Superheroes and appreciate that the Company is taking such good care of us!
Elaine Faria de Almeida
Production Operator, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health, Brazil

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