David Green the CEO of the arts-and-crafts chain Hobby Lobby announced that all stores would remain open despite the coronavirus pandemic. He has also refused to pay sick leave for any workers that fall ill or get the coronavirus.
All Hobby Lobby’s where states have not ordered non-essential businesses to close will remain open. Green penned a letter on March 19 that told employees that “times would be tough.”
“To help ensure our company remains strong and prepared to prosper once again when this passes, we may all have to ‘tighten our belts’ over the near future.”
Green is reportedly a devout conservative Christian whose net worth is estimated at $6 billion.
“I cannot adequately express how much I appreciate each one of you,” Green continued in the letter.
On March 23 a memo was sent out to store managers. The media outlet Business Insider acquired one of the memos and reports that store operations vice president Randy Betts wrote that the business would “make every effort to continue working the employees”, and those sick workers will be expected to use their personal paid leave or take an unpaid leave of absence.
Green told employees that God spoke to him and told him to keep the stores open. In the March 19 letter, he wrote that he and his wife Barbara prayed for guidance.
“God put on [her] heart three profound words to remind us that he’s in control: Guide, Guard, and Groom,” Green wrote.
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“While we do not know for certain what the future holds, or how long this disruption will last, we can all rest in knowing that God is in control,” Green wrote.