Amongst the Coronavirus crisis Target decided to offer each team member 30 days paid leave if they have any condition listed by the CDC as high risk. Yet management at my store did not tell team members about it. I only learned about the vulnerable Team Member paid leave through a Target employee from a different store.
The leave request is handled entirely through the Pay and Benefits number. Their menu has no clear direction as to which department handles the Coronavirus related leave requests. I had to cycle through all the options for 2 hours until I found the right department.
Altogether my first phone call took over 4 hours to talk to someone. They took my request, gave me the dates of my leave, and asked me to send a picture of my prescription bottle via email as proof of my condition.
The leave pay is calculated by taking the team member’s average hours and halving that. My average hours is 16 but my medical leave pay will only be half of that. They do not tell you this upfront. I had to ask the representative how they calculate the pay because they give the impression you’ll get your full average hours worth of pay, not half.
I waited several days for a confirmation email to be sent back to me about the proof of diabetes. Finally I tried to call them back but for two days they were so overloaded with calls they were rejecting new calls. When I was finally able to talk to a representative I was told I’d need a doctor’s note stating I need to be in quarantine for 30 days.
It took me over a day to get in touch with my doctor and during this time I didn’t know if the dates I were given for my leave were in effect or not, since it hadn’t been approved yet, or if I would even be paid for the leave. I couldn’t get any clear answers out of anyone at Target.
I tried to be patient about getting a confirmation email back because I knew the call centers were overwhelmed but after two days I called them again to confirmed they got the doctor’s note. After waiting another 2 hours on hold the representative confirmed they received the note and they would send an email to me when they either reject my leave request or approve it. They had no estimate of when I will get the email as they are so overwhelmed.
Finally, after 8 days of uncertainty, over 10 combined hours of waiting, and many emails I got an email confirming my medical leave was approved.
Target is touting the paid leave for vulnerable team members as a show of how much they care for their employees but how difficult and convoluted the process is reveals it’s just a PR move and they don’t care at all about their workers.