COVID-19 Latest Updates at Culp
May 14, 2020
Dear Culp Family:
We want to take this opportunity to convey to you our continued commitment to protecting the health and safety of our employees. As a result of the COVID-19 situation, the company has taken aggressive steps in line with the CDC’s recommendations to try to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace.
In the past week, we were notified regarding employees at our Stokesdale facility who tested positive for COVID-19. Please know that we want to be as transparent as we can, but there are certain legally required confidentiality obligations with which we absolutely must comply. Upon learning of the situation in Stokesdale, we hired an outside company to come in to complete a deep cleaning in the affected area of the facility, in addition to our already increased level of cleaning and disinfection.
We will continue to comply with reporting these situations to the county and taking appropriate action based on guidance received from county, state and federal agencies. We will continue to comply with all reporting that is required or allowed.
We need you to do your part. What happens outside of our workplace has a direct affect on our safety efforts inside the workplace. The CDC recommends that you:
- wash your hands often;
- avoid touching your face;
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and immediately wash your hands with soap and water;
- wear a face covering in public;
- avoid large gatherings and maintain distance (at least 6 feet) from others as much as possible; and
- practice routine cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched areas in your home, car and other areas. These surfaces can be cleaned with soap and water prior to disinfection.
We also ask that you:
- inform your supervisor if you are sick, stay at home and seek medical care; and
- inform your supervisor if you have a sick person in your home;
Additionally, we want to ensure that employees understand the steps that are being taken in light of these recent cases and as overall precautionary measures. Consistent with CDC guidance, Culp has and will continue to:
- inform any employees who may have been in close contact with an affected employee of the potential exposure so that these employees can take appropriate precautions and/or consult with their physician as appropriate;
- inform the appropriate governmental agencies of any positive test results;
- ensure that any employees who are diagnosed with COVID-19 are medically cleared before returning to work;
- thoroughly clean and disinfect each facility based on our protocols;
- require use of appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment);
- continue temperature checks of employees and essential visitors entering our facilities;
- require that employees who have symptoms or that have someone living in the same home who is symptomatic/positive for COVID-19 must go home; and
- enforce our social distancing mandate while in the workplace.
Thank you for your efforts to protect yourself, your family and your coworkers. Together, we can make our workplace environment as safe as possible.
April 3, 2020
Dear Culp Family:
We want to provide you with an update on the measures we are taking to respond to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. While these decisions are extremely difficult and affect associates in our company (as well as many other companies faced with similar decisions), we must move forward with actions that are necessary to protect the long-term stability of our business as we face this unprecedented crisis.
We are aggressively working to negotiate more favorable terms with vendors, suppliers and our landlords. We are reducing capital expenditures and looking at all expenses across the company to find ways to conserve our resources during this extremely difficult period.
We are also taking difficult measures that involve temporary pay reductions. This includes a 50% reduction in salary for Frank Saxon and Iv Culp, along with a 50% reduction in compensation for our board of directors. In addition to this, we also have other pay reductions, permanent layoffs, and associates who will be furloughed for varying periods of time based on the demand conditions and outlook for each division. We are working with the associates affected by furloughs to help with benefit coverage.
We are also looking at available options to apply for government assistance to help us support and maintain our workforce during this time. While there is no guarantee that we will be eligible for or receive any of these opportunities, we are taking every possible step to find avenues for relief that could benefit our company and our associates in the near term.
During this time of uncertainty, we want you to know that we are doing our best to keep everyone healthy and safe in the workplace, while also serving as an essential business for critical industries. We have the great opportunity to provide much needed aid to our country during this crisis and appreciate your ongoing work to support this endeavor. Although we expect the path forward will continue to be unpredictable and challenging, we will weather this storm and emerge with strength when the crisis passes.
Thank you for standing together with us during these uncertain times. For a personal message, please see below:
March 26, 2020
Dear Culp Family,
During this time of crisis, there are many questions. How could this have happened? What can we do to get through this together? What does the future hold for our company, our country, and the world? We are all worried and are dealing with many issues. We are all adjusting to new rules, requirements and way of life.
In this letter, we want to provide you with an update related to the challenges we are continuing to face during the COVID-19 crisis. We also want to provide information on how we are rising to the call to help our nation during this unprecedented time.
First, our #1 priority is your safety. We are continuing our efforts to take the necessary measures to provide a safe and secure workplace to help protect the wellbeing of our associates as we produce and supply textile products to our customers. In addition to extra cleaning, mandated social distancing, elimination of non-essential travel, visitor restrictions, and providing remote work wherever possible, we are continuing to evaluate further measures. We are now conducting temperature checks at our U.S. facilities. This will allow us to identify associates who may be ill and need medical assistance.
We are very pleased to inform you that we have also joined the initiative to support relief efforts in the U.S. by producing face masks, bed covers, and other items to support our nation during this time of crisis. We have a team of people who are working tirelessly to develop and provide items to assist medical professionals and other support for people and regions that need it the most.
We have customers performing essential services who are depending on us to ship product to them and a nation in need of essential supplies that we can provide. This is what we do! We believe that if we stop doing that now we may put at risk the long-term health of the livelihoods of our employees, the communities in which we operate, and ultimately our company.
As long as we can remain operational, we believe can have a greater opportunity to control the outcome of this situation for the betterment of our employees and our company overall. Having said that, we understand the responsibilities to operate safely. We are committed to observing the guidelines and precautions provided by the CDC and other governmental agencies. Our HR Services team and associates across the organization are working every day to ensure proper protocols are followed to keep our facilities clean and safe.
EVERY day, the Culp executive team meets to review current conditions and weigh the potential of staying open along with the risks of shutting down our facilities. We are aware that these are unprecedented times and understand there are difficult decisions that we must make on an ongoing basis that impact our associates. We recognize our responsibility to make sure our employees are safe, and we understand that we have an obligation to make the proper decisions to ensure the long-term health of our company. As we navigate through this uncertain and challenging time, we want you to know that we are looking ahead to the future. We are committed to making the best possible decisions for the long-term outlook for our company.
This year will certainly be remembered, not just for COVID-19 but also for the way in which we are choosing to stand together as a family to support the company we have built together, our nation, and our customers. Thank you for your continued commitment to Culp. You are a remarkable group of people and we appreciate you.
March 20, 2020
Dear Culp family,
At Culp, the health and safety of our employees, customers, partners, and the communities we serve is our number one priority. Over the last few weeks, we have implemented a number of precautionary measures across our business to address the COVID-19 outbreak, including increasing cleaning schedules, limiting travel, restricting non-essential visitors, and enacting social distancing measures. This afternoon, we learned that one of our employees who works at our Stokesdale, NC, facility has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
This employee is under self-quarantine and is receiving care from medical professionals. We can confirm that the employee has not been at work since March 10, 2020; however, because of medical privacy restrictions, we cannot release the name of the individual or any additional details at this time. Please keep this member of the Culp family in your thoughts and prayers.
Other individuals who have had close contact with this employee have been identified and will be contacted by local health officials for a risk assessment and self-quarantine directives in accordance with public health recommendations. We are also working closely with the county health department to ensure all guidelines are followed with respect to the handling of a positive COVID-19 case, including cleaning and sanitizing the area where the affected employee worked. We are monitoring this situation closely and will continue to support our employees during this challenging time.
This is an unprecedented situation for all of us as our nation grapples with the effort to contain the coronavirus. I would like to thank each of you for showing the dedication and resilience that makes this company great. There is so much about this evolving crisis that remains unknown. But one thing I do know is that our company and our people are strong, and we will overcome this challenge together.
Robert G. Culp, IV
Chief Executive Officer
March 10, 2020
To: Culp Associates
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has become a global health issue and is continuing to evolve each day. I want to take this opportunity to assure you that our management team has been aware of COVID-19 since first announced in the media and have been closely monitoring this situation on a daily basis since early February. We have long-standing plans and procedures in place to protect our employees and our business.
The Culp, Inc. Pandemic Disease Contingency Plan was implemented in 2003 and includes engineering controls and business continuity procedures. The Pandemic Disease Team includes HR Services, our CEO, CFO, Division Presidents, General Counsel along with the General Managers at each of our locations across the globe.
Our plan has been in active status in China since the outbreak in that country and in escalating levels of preparedness in the U.S., Canada and Haiti based on reports from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As of mid-February, each Culp location is prepared with a local pandemic team, safety stock of hygiene supplies, hygiene postings, government information sources, along with review of social distancing plans (staggered shifts, remote work arrangements, etc.). We are also working on increased cleaning schedules and plans for dealing with sick employees.
What you need to know:
- Business Travel. Culp international travel was previously suspended (except for travel to Canada) until further notice. We are now suspending non-essential domestic travel. If you have any travel plans, you must review with your manager who will in turn discuss the necessity of travel with your division president. Your local HR Services representative must be notified of any approved travel plans.
- Personal Travel. Employees must report personal travel plans (international or to other states/provinces within your respective country) to HR Services until further notice. You may be subject to a quarantine period upon return. Your HR Services representative can review this with you.
- Visitors. As a cautionary measure, effective immediately, we must restrict non-essential visitors to all of our locations. If visitors arrive, we will be asking questions related to their travels, etc. Please avoid inviting visitors to our facilities and use technology available to conduct business. IT will be announcing teleconferencing options soon.
- Practice good hygiene. Follow hygiene practices to include frequent hand washing, keep your hands away from your face, use tissue for sneezing/coughing, routine cleaning of touched surfaces, etc.
We will continue to update you as appropriate regarding our pandemic plan. We hope this situation will be short-term as global actions and responses to contain the outbreak are underway. If you have questions, please contact me or your local HR representative.
Teresa A. Huffman
Senior Vice President, Human Resources