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Author: Corporate IT

A Message from EJ Strelitz and Family.

To say that we are distressed to ask our colleagues to take temporary unpaid leave, is an understatement. What now matters most is good health for you and those you love, so we have pre-paid our company’s share of your health insurance for April.

Fortunately, state and federal governments will provide you significant income during this short, painful period. We are here to help guide you and see to it- that you get every dollar you so deserve.

At the same time, we continue to work around the clock- to press our state and federal representatives to provide immediate relief to our company and thus allow you to receive compensation from us. So far, these efforts- along with thousands of other companies of our size- have failed. We remain hopeful that all of you will soon receive a fair shake from our government.

In the meantime, a small dedicated group (at drastically reduced pay) will work tirelessly to maintain the business we all built and to ensure an even brighter future for all of us.

Love to all. See you soon.

COVID-19 (coronavirus) – Company Update 4/4/20

All information shared via HR Communication emails are also available on the Employee Communications website. You can view the website by typing covid.furniture757.com in your browser’s URL bar and submitting.
The COVID-19 crisis has created tremendous upheaval of the economy, its infrastructure, and our company. We have been forced to reduce hours and close some of our stores in this unprecedented situation. By all accounts of current information available, from a virus standpoint it appears April and May are going to have the worst impact; most devastating of course will be the tragic loss of life. It is possible, if not probable, additional store closings could be necessary. Even before stores were ordered closed, the sales loss rate in March was approaching 85-90%.
It is with heavy hearts that we have come to the decision we must make difficult changes in order to respond to the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. We understand these changes will have impacts both on the company and all its employees.
On Saturday 4/4/2020 by 9pm if you have not been contacted by either Human Resources (HR) or your store/location leadership and advised you are being retained as active personnel, then effective Sunday 4/5/2020 unfortunately it will be necessary to place you on an unpaid leave of absence (furloughed) from the company. To the extent possible, where we can make work available in the immediate days/weeks ahead we will attempt to do so, so make sure we have good contact information to reach you to get you back to work!.
As previously outlined, this is due to government restrictions on our ability to operate, as well the catastrophic impact COVID-19 (coronavirus) has had on the health of the American people and its economy. Although none of us can be sure what the next weeks or months will look like, it is both our expectation and sincere hope that the vast majority our employees will be returned to active status. However, while on furlough you will be entitled to apply for unemployment with your state unemployment agency since you will not be earning any income directly from your employer. Unemployment may include significantly enhanced benefits from the Federal government under the recent stimulus package. The company will respond promptly to any unemployment claims with the information necessary for the state agency to make a determination related to your eligibility and unemployment benefit amount as appropriate
If you participated in healthcare coverage through the company this benefit will remain in effect through April. A separate memo detailing all the information necessary related to all benefits impact/options will follow. Those employees who are currently on a medical leave of absence will be contacted next week regarding your status.
Unfortunately, all vacation remaining on the books will not be paid out at this time (unless as required by law). However, it is our hope that in the weeks and months to come we will be able to rehire most of our workforce and at that time we will determine if that benefit can be restored.
If you have company assets with you –laptop, cell phone etc. in a good faith effort to encourage shelter in place we ask you to retain those assets safely at home with you until your reemployment or a company representative contacts you to recover that property. If you have personal items at the workplace, we asked for the same consideration unless there is an urgent need to retrieve that property i.e. required medication, we ask that you hold on retrieval until the end of May at least.
This is not goodbye; this is a pause while we hunker down and beat this thing! The leadership team will not stop working on the complex issues that lie ahead. It is our intention to rebuild, redesign and come out on the other side of this stronger; a more profitable company who will be considered an employer and a retail furniture company of choice.
In the meantime, we wish you and your families well-being and peace. Take care of yourselves and each other.
As always, your HR team will remain (all be it in a reduced capacity) available to assist you. Contact HR at (757) 552-1500 or

COVID-19 (coronavirus) – Company Update

All information shared via HR Communication emails are also available on the Employee Communications website. You can view the website by typing covid.furniture757.com in your browser’s URL bar and submitting.
We hope that you all are remaining well and taking care of yourselves and each other. We understand many of you have questions about your future employment status and what options are available to you. It is the company’s intention to communicate in more detail over the next couple of days. Please continue to check the website for updates.
See below for location store hours information for this weekend-

The Dumps (Outer Market and Virginia)

Sales Staff-

12pm-6pm– Saturday & Sunday–reduced schedules.

Except–

PA-closed

IL- closed

Dallas, TX- closed

Haynes

Sales Staff –

10am-6pm–Saturday– reduced schedules

11am-6pm– Sunday–reduced schedules.

*All others – essential personnel only.

COVID-19 (coronavirus) – Company Update

*** SUMMARY OF TEMPORARY SICK LEAVE POLICY***

The following is a compilation of the several policies and updates communicated regarding the use of the up-to-two-week additional sick leave time that was originally announced on March 12, 2020.

Salary and Hourly Employees- The following absences are covered by the additional sick leave time:

  • Absences related to a COVID-19 medical condition for the employee, including exposure to their spouse or other immediate family member;
  • Absences related to care for a dependent family member, including absences caused by school or daycare facility closures;
  • Absences related to any store/office shutdowns made by either the company or the government.

Full Time Sales Associates- The following absences from normal working hours are covered by the additional sick leave time:

  • Absences related to a COVID-19 medical condition for the employee, including exposure to their spouse or other immediate family member;
  • Absences related to care for a dependent family member, including absences caused by school or daycare facility closures.

Part-time Sales Associates- The following absences from normal Friday-Sunday working hours are covered by the additional sick leave time:

  • Absences related to a COVID-19 medical condition for the employee, including exposure to their spouse or other immediate family member;
  • Absences related to care for a dependent family member, including absences caused by school or daycare facility closures (which would typically be a Friday).

All sales associates will be compensated at their base rate of pay; for Haynes associates any draw applicable to temporary sick leave will not recouped against future sales.

As a reminder, in all cases, employees who are sick and/or believe they have symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, coughing, shortness of breath) cannot report to work and instead must stay home and should seek medical advice and attention.

Your Urgent Action is Requested

Hi everyone,

First of all EJ & Randi are hoping you and your loved ones are well and stay healthy through this very uncertain time. They are doing everything they can to ensure we all come out of this okay.

As some of you may already be aware, there is a bill that has passed the Senate and will hopefully get passed by the House of Representatives. If this happens it will help our company and all of us tremendously. I am reaching out to all of you to ask for your help. Please take 5 minutes to call or write to our Virginia representatives. You can use our Virginia Beach Corporate address below. I have included links below:

Rob Wittman – https://wittman.house.gov/contact/

Elaine Luria – https://luria.house.gov/zip-code-lookup?form=/contact/email-me

Donald McEachin – https://mceachin.house.gov/contact/email

You can also contact your local representatives.

If we all come together and participate we can make an incredible impact and be heard. This may be the most important email/letter you have ever written. Feel free to use your own words but if you would like, here are a few key sentences below to include.

“Our headquarters and biggest store in Virginia Beach supports hundreds of well paying jobs and benefits. Other locations in and outside of Virginia all have well under 500 employees. Please make certain we are one of the “Certain Industries” included for relief as furniture retail is widely predicted (Wall Street journal March 25th) to be the single hardest hit industry in the US.”

“I urge you to please give us relief and pass this bill”

“Please help us in this time of uncertainty and pass this bill”

“Make me glad I voted for you and pass this bill now, Thank you!”

I have also provided two hyperlinks which will provide you with some important information, one from Marco Rubio and one from Wells Fargo.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call me directly.

EJ & Randi thank all of you for your commitment to this company.

Thank you so much for joining in to help our stores Haynes & The Dump.

https://www.wellsfargo.com/investment-institute/ia-stimulus-plan/

https://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/ef2d5d75-82b2-4de8-9e4e-89e1cdc2b758/EA7D2DA06BB292AB5903710F77D02485.final-section-by-section—keeping-american-workers-employed-and-paid-act.pdf

Josie Daigle, B.A.
Executive Assistant to
EJ & Randi Strelitz
5324 Virginia Beach Blvd
Virginia Beach, VA  23462
757-552-1508 (O)
410-905-2772 (C)

COVID-19 (coronavirus) – Company Update- “Stressed Out and No Place To Go? “

Our Employee Assistance Provider (REACH-EAP) invites you to join them on Friday, March 27th from 12pm-12:30pm for a FREE webinar entitled “Stressed Out and No Place To Go? Coping with COVID-19 “. Learn tips & tricks for reducing stress and staying healthy during COVID-19 Register for the session on Friday, March 27th by visiting: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/5866395217729542156 If you are unable to attend the session attached is a document that covers the content.

Remember EAP services are available 24/7 at (800) 950-3434 or via the web at https://allonehealth.com/reacheap/

401(k) Plan Information

As we continue to provide you with what we hope is helpful information in a variety of areas, this communication will address the Company’s 401(k) Retirement Savings Plan.   Much of the information included here applies in general to any type of investment account, and some is specific only to our 401(k) plan.  We do understand that when the market experiences such extreme downswings as we’ve seen over the past two weeks, it can be a tremendous cause for concern.  We have attached materials provided by our record-keeper, Empower Retirement, which addresses specific information on market volatility.  Please take a few minutes to review this information.  Below is a link to a short webinar provided by Strategic Retirement Partners, our financial advisor group. This is intended to be informational only. If you wish to discuss your personal investments within the 401 (k) plan feel free to contact our designated Strategic Retirement Partners on 757) 645-3975. We think you will find this to be very informative, and we hope the information puts your mind at ease, at least to some degree.

Click this link Market Volatility video to review the short webinar referenced.

For our associates who currently participate in the Company’s plan, we’d like to remind you of certain plan provisions.  While we discourage any type of withdrawal from your 401(k) account, we do recognize that during times of crisis a withdrawal may be unavoidable.  Generally, certain types of withdrawals are available:

  • Hardship withdrawal – IRS defines hardship as withdrawal of funds for an immediate financial need to alleviate certain conditions, which includes prevention of eviction/foreclosure and catastrophic medical costs not covered by insurance.  Documentation must be provided.
  • In-Service withdrawal – If age 59-1/2 or older, can withdraw from any money type in which you are 100% vested (your contribution and company match funds).  If under age 59-1/2 can withdraw only from company match funds provided you are 100% vested.  In-service withdrawals are limited to 3 each plan year.
  • Loans – Minimum of $1000 to maximum of 50% of vested account, not to exceed $50,000.  Only one loan allowed at any time.  Payroll deduction required for repayment of the loan.

If you find that you must take advantage of any of the withdrawal provisions, you should contact Empower Retirement directly, either by phone or website.  Be sure that Empower is showing your current home address, phone number and email address.  If incorrect, you must update your personal information on Kronos.  We also advise notifying HR (hradmin@haynesfurniture.com) that you have requested a 401(k) withdrawal, as we may need to provide the updated home address information to Empower outside of our normal process, to expedite your request.

EMPOWER:   1.800.338.4015  or  www.empower-retirement.com/participant  

Hotline Telephone Numbers

To All Employees: —– (Supervisor for those employees who do not have access to email please distribute this notice and post in the break rooms).

We hope you and your families are staying safe and well. To give additional access to company communications we have created a website where all communications related to COVID-19 and the company’s latest information will be posted. You will be able to see all communications (with the latest post being at the top). 

You can view the website by typing covid19.furniture757.com in your browsers URL bar and submitting.

There is also an Employee Feedback form where you can submit questions or leave comments. This is being monitored and will be responded to by HR — 7 days a week, 7a-7p until otherwise notified. If you have information concerning your local community and businesses that you would like to pass along, please do that in the employee feedback form. We are still exploring a Live Chat option. Stay tuned.

As promised below are location hotline telephone numbers. They will provide you site specific up to date recorded information.

Hampton Roads 757-998-8839
Williamsburg 757-369-0685
Richmond 804-293-8421
PA 484-394-1133
GA 804-293-8425
AZ 480-210-6829
IL- Lombard 630-576-3152
IL-Deerfield 847-582-4707
IL-Addison 630-576-3170
TX-Houston 281-949-6736
TX-Dallas 469-983-6295

If you have questions or concerns you want to discuss or report, your Human Resources Team remains available and committed to supporting you.  HR Contact #  (757) 552-1500

Using Health Care Benefits

USING HEALTH CARE BENEFITS TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF AND COVERED FAMILY MEMBERS

During this current environment of uncertainty, and your everyday life having been turned upside down, we wanted to provide you with some information that will we hope will be helpful as you navigate through the steps of caring for yourself and your family. 

First and foremost, pay attention to your health.  Definitely avoid being in a crowd, and as much as possible avoid face-to-face contact with others.  Wash your hands frequently, and always after being out in any public area.  In the event that you do start feeling ill with the symptoms of COVID-19, take steps right away to learn if you need to be tested.   The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends the following:

  • If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice (be sure to call before going to the doctor’s office, urgent care, or emergency room)
  • Stay home except to get medical care
  • Separate yourself from other people in your home, this is known as home isolation
  • Wear a facemask if you are sick

We encourage you to visit the CDC website (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019) for complete information as well as up-to-date information on how the Coronavirus is impacting the United States. 

We also encourage associates to contact your insurance provider to learn of any special coverage provisions have been implemented for any COVID-19 testing or treatment.  For those of you insured under the Haynes/Dump medical plans, Anthem will cover COVID-19 testing at no cost.   This applies regardless of the plan in which you have enrolled.

Further, to help you comply with the CDC recommendation of not visiting a medical facility if you are showing any symptoms, Anthem will waive all fees for any virtual medical visits through the “LiveHealth  Online” provision in our policy.  Shown below are the details of this and other measures that Anthem has put into place to help members.  Again, this applies to all members in any plan.

Here’s how your Anthem plan helps:

  • Check symptoms and get doctor visits from home. Members can download the free Sydney Care mobile app for a quick and easy way to evaluate symptoms. They can connect with a doctor through a LiveHealth Online video session or a Virtual Care text session right from their smartphone. The doctor they connect with can evaluate their symptoms, help them understand whether they’re at risk for COVID-19, and let them know whether they need to visit a local health care provider in person for COVID-19 testing. LiveHealth Online is available for members at no extra cost through June 14, 2020.

    Sydney Care is available to download now on Android or iOS. This app should accompany the Sydney Health app. Coronavirus Assessment functionality is in development and expected to be available within the next week. Members can also log in to their anthem.com account and connect to LiveHealth Online.
  • More flexible pharmacy benefits. Members can refill most prescriptions early. Anthem is relaxing early prescription refill limits, where permitted, for members who wish to receive a 30-day supply of most maintenance medications early.

    Additionally, our plan includes a 90-day mail-order pharmacy benefit and you should talk to your doctor about whether changing from a 30-day supply to a 90-day supply is appropriate. You can get their 90-day supply through our home delivery pharmacy for most medications. Call the Pharmacy Member Services number on their ID card to learn more.
  • If members need a COVID-19 test, it’s covered. Your Anthem health plan covers COVID-19 testing and the visit where they get the test with no out-of-pocket costs. If diagnosed as having COVID-19, your Anthem health plan benefits apply to treatments.  For specific coverage information for treatment, call the Anthem number shown on the back of your card.

STAY INFORMED!! (Control + click to open each document)

We will continue to keep you informed of any updates to our current insurance coverage.  We do recognize that the coverage information applies only to associates enrolled in the Company’s medical plans but much of this information will be helpful to all associates. 

For specific individual benefit questions please contact —

Benefits Manager, Shirley DiDomenico (757) 998-8944 or HR (757) 552-1500.