Due to COVID-19, Paradigm Talent Agency has had to furlough staff as have most companies or businesses. However, something that Paradigm is doing which others are not, is offering a relief fund for any employees affected. The CEO Sam Gores announced last week that he was setting up a relief fund for affected employees worth $1.1 million resulting in approximately $4,400 set aside for each employee.
More than 200 employees were laid off on March 20th due to the sudden impact of COVID-19. Merely two weeks after this, Sam Gores announced the relief fund for those affected and set a deadline for any applications to be handed in by April 13th. However due to state laws about unemployment, potentially accepting this fund may then put employees in a worse situation were they are not liable to be classed as unemployed and receive those benefits. Due to these issues, Paradigm extended their deadline until April 28th, allowing their employees to do more research and decide what is best for them in these troubling times.
Paradigm are one of few companies to be furloughing staff but still providing them with relief and funding, however people believe they could be doing more. Employees asked for more clarity and information about the laws and regulations but were just sent a list of phone numbers and websites and told to contact their state’s unemployment office. Michael Seville, attorney from Seville Briggs law firm in San Francisco, stated “Giving employees a list of phone numbers to call is not enough. Employers have resources their employees don’t and they need to make the process as easy as possible.”
Paradigm made a statement in which they said “Paradigm has and will continue to consult with outside legal and accounting counsel on this matter. Unfortunately, it was told there is no precedent for what employers are currently experiencing with respect to this pandemic and thus, there no guarantees. Each state has different rules and in some states, the rules vary by each individual’s situation. Paradigm’s HR team will continue to be available to assist employees, as they can.”