Ebonee Davis Ifeobu, MHRIR 09, is the Executive Director, Human Resources for Bridgestone Tire Operations at Bridgestone Americas in Nashville, TN. She said that their response to the COVID-19 outbreak has been very proactive, since their new CEO is Italian. “We’ve been really fortunate to be out ahead of this and working on planning for quite a while. Our policies are all public, and we’re working as hard as we can to ensure the safety of our employees.”
Their corporate office has announced a work-from-home policy for all employees that can, including clerical staff. Many meetings have been moved to a virtual or phone format, and meetings that happen at work must be with no more than 10 people, keeping the distance of two meters apart.
Employees who work in their plant locations have work stations that are more than two meters apart, so they can still work as scheduled and are encouraged not to come closer than two meters during their lunch and break periods. “Unlike my old positions at General Mills, we don’t have the issue of food production or raw materials coming into the plants, so that isn’t a concern for us in this environment,” she says.
Parents of students in cancelled schools are more complicated, since each family needs to find their own independent child care and those that stay home to care for children must use regular benefits at this time.
Employees that do test positive are asked to follow CDC guidelines and self-quarantine. They must have doctor’s clearance to return to work.