Statement on Georgia-Pacific’s Response to COVID-19

Georgia-Pacific

We continue to update the information below related to COVID-19 and how GP is responding. Employees with specific questions should contact their supervisors, HR at your facility or your facility leader. If you have concerns, please contact our Guideline at 1-800-216-8007. Here are some reminders:

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers:

We have announced temporary changes to some of our pay practices in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, waived costs for some wellbeing benefits, and continue to share information and resources to help employees manage this uncertain time. We continue to follow CDC guidelines for cleaning practices and are limiting visitors at our operations. We have announced temporary changes to some of our pay practices in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including paid leave during 14 consecutive days for eligible employees for days they were scheduled but unable to work due to this pandemic and we are offering 5 days of intermittent paid time off if you are forced to miss work to care for your children due to school closures because of COVID-19 In addition, we’ve made the following changes:

Telemedicine: healthcare from your home

We have updated our medical plan to cover telemedicine visits with your personal doctor that include video and audio. These visits will be subject to deductible and co-insurance just like a regular office visit. You can use this new feature for any healthcare concern.

Through December 31, 2021, telemedicine resources through LiveHealth Online are available at no cost to medical plan members. LiveHealth Online includes licensed providers for physical, mental and emotional health concerns. Visit LiveHealthOnline.com or call 888-548-3432.

You continue to have access to the Anthem NurseLine. This free service to medical plan members is available 24 hours a day by calling 800-700-9184.

Pharmacy benefit reminder

Keep in mind that CVS mail order is a less expensive option, and it delivers prescriptions directly to your home. For maintenance medication, ask your provider to submit new prescriptions (or switch existing ones) to mail order with a 90-day supply. If you have any questions, call CVS using the number on the back of your medical plan ID card or on your pharmacy ID card. You can also access CVS through Engage.

Updates to spending accounts

The definition of eligible expenses for Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Healthcare Flexible Spending Accounts (HC FSA) now includes over-the-counter medical supplies and menstrual supplies. Visit healthaccounts.bankofamerica.com and click Learn > HSA Resources > Using your HSA for an updated list of eligible expenses. This list also applies to HC FSA.

If you’re enrolled in either of these accounts, remember:

  • You can change your HSA contribution at any time by visiting myLifeChoices.com.
  • You cannot change your HC FSA contribution except during Open Enrollment or if you have a qualifying life event.
  • HC FSA funds are ‘use it or lose it.’ You will forfeit unused funds if you do not spend them on eligible expenses incurred before December 31 each year.
  • Bank of America administers HSA accounts. Surgency administers HC FSA accounts.

Emotional/Mental Health Support

We encourage you not to ignore the stress and anxiety caused by the pandemic, including the effects it may have on your relationships or your ability to contribute to the essential products and services we provide globally.

Licensed SupportLinc counselors are available 24 hours a day. You and all members of your family have free access to SupportLinc resources regardless of medical plan enrollment. Call 888-901-1327 or visit the SupportLinc coronavirus resource page at eaptoolkit.com/coronavirus.

LiveHealth Online has licensed psychologists and psychiatrists that are available to medical plan members through December 31, 2021, at no cost. Visit LiveHealthOnline.com or call 888-548-3432.

We continue to follow CDC guidelines for cleaning practices and are limiting visitors at our operations. We have announced temporary changes to some of our pay practices in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including paid leave during 14 consecutive days for eligible employees for days they were scheduled but unable to work due to this pandemic and we are offering 5 days of intermittent paid time off if you are forced to miss work to care for your children due to school closures because of COVID-19.

Until further notice, Koch company medical plans will cover all costs related to testing and treatment of COVID-19.

Facilities have procured and provided appropriate face coverings for employees. Employees may continue to bring their own when it meets the facility requirements. Please note that a face covering does not replace any PPE requirements that your operations may have, and you may be asked to take off your face covering if it is inconsistent with the site’s PPE requirements.

Georgia-Pacific continues to proactively and effectively manage COVID-19 so that we can protect employee’s health and operate safely. As an essential part of the workforce, we will continue to adapt to changing conditions and follow local, state, regional and federal guidance. In addition, we will continue to follow CDC guidance.

We take preventive measures to minimize the risks inside our work locations, including asking every employee to do a health self-assessment before they come to work and to stay at home and see a doctor if they have COVID-related symptoms; restricting visitors and vendors inside our facilities except in cases where the work is critical to continue operating; providing masks and encouraging/requiring masks when working together; requiring social distancing, and to wear masks and other personal protective equipment if a task can’t be done while social distancing; asking office employees or those who can work from home to adjust their work schedules to allow for social distancing in office areas; and adding hand sanitizer stations and enhanced daily cleaning inside facilities.

In every instance where an employee or contractor has COVID-19 related symptoms or is in close contact with someone who is diagnosed with COVID-19, we follow CDC and state and local health authorities’ guidelines to identify who had close contact with these people, notify those individuals and ask them to self-quarantine for the appropriate amount of time. We also take the recommended steps to clean and disinfect the areas where the individuals work if they have been at work with symptoms or if they received a positive test and may have been at work.

Throughout the pandemic, we have had cases where employees or contractors have tested positive for COVID-19. In some instances, employees or contractors have come in contact with someone at work who has COVID-19. But in most instances, we have found that employees or contractors are contracting COVID-19 through interactions in the community or with family members.

As a company, we are responding to this in real-time and we will continue to react and adapt to updates and share knowledge as we receive it. If such decisions are made in the states where we operate, we will work as quickly as possible to notify employees. We encourage you to raise any questions directly to your supervisor or local HR.

We are not offering hazard pay at this time. We’d recommend speaking with your direct supervisor or the HR rep at your facility to figure out the best plan of action for your situation. We have announced temporary changes to some of our pay practices in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including paid leave during 14 consecutive days for eligible employees for days they were scheduled but unable to work due to this pandemic and we are offering 5 days of intermittent paid time off if you are forced to miss work to care for your children due to school closures because of COVID-19. These changes are being made to emphasize the importance we place on the safety and wellbeing of our employees, their families and our communities. We hope these changes will help reduce the threat of spread of illness in our workplaces and communities.

The health and safety, of all our employees is our top priority. Across many states, we have seen local and state governments issue shelter in place orders that have affected our facilities by designating them as essential or non-essential businesses (or some other language) based on what the site manufactures. We believe many of our manufacturing facilities make products that our country needs, and we will continue operating. In some cases where deemed non-essential, we have suspended operations. If a particular facility is deemed to be essential and continues operating, we ask our employees to continue working per normal guidelines. Our commitment, as always, is to comply with all laws and regulations.

As a company, we are responding to this in real-time and we will continue to react and adapt to updates and share knowledge as we receive it. If such decisions are made in the states where we operate, we will work as quickly as possible to notify employees. We encourage you to raise any questions directly to your supervisor or local HR.

What we do at Georgia-Pacific is considered essential and part of the critical infrastructure in the United States. We’ve been successfully operating in this pandemic and we will continue operating to meet society’s demand for our products during this crisis and to keep our employees working and earning for the benefit of their own families.

Our goal is to continue to assess guidance at various levels, take appropriate action and communicate quickly and directly with employees, customers, consumers and communities where we operate.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Georgia-Pacific has closely monitored and responded to guidance issued from federal, state and local governments and their agencies (like the CDC). We have and continue to balance health and safety precautions while operating businesses that are essential. As the US begins to think about restarting our economy, please know that GP will continue to listen and engage at the federal, state and local levels. Our goal is to assess guidance at various levels, take appropriate action and communicate quickly and directly with employees, customers, consumers and communities where we operate.

Unfortunately, there are some people out there who see this as an opportunity to take advantage of others. This type of behavior goes against our market-based guiding principles, especially those surrounding compliance and integrity. We have been in touch with many third-party platforms on which our products are advertised in an effort to remove items where it appears 3rd party sellers may be engaged in price gouging. We would also encourage consumers to report any price gouging activity to their respective state’s Attorney General.

Some helpful law enforcement links to about how to spot and report potentially illegal activity related to COVID-19 include:

Our employees leave their homes across North America every day to make essential products you need and use, especially Angel Soft® and Quilted Northern toilet paper and Brawny® and Sparkle® paper towels. Recently, consumers have pointed out bad actors who are imitating our brands in the marketplace and/or misrepresenting themselves as authorized sellers of our brands for the purposes of stealing your information and price-gouging you.

We want our consumers to be safe and healthy, and we understand that for many people the best option to purchase our products right now is online. Before you purchase what appear to be our products from any online source, help protect yourself from fraud by asking these questions.

  • Is this website/retailer/seller one I have purchased from before?
  • If not, does the website appear trustworthy?
  • If purchasing from a site like Amazon, is the product being sold by Amazon directly or by a third-party seller?
  • Does the price on this product reflect the typical price I would expect to be charged prior to the pandemic?
  • Does a quick online search reveal anything suspicious about this retailer?
  • Look closely at the brand name/packaging – does it match the actual brand name I associate this product with?

Please know that our supply chain is strong and our 25,000 manufacturing employees continue working for you. We want you to buy and purchase our products and we want to help you protect yourself from fraud. If you see companies impersonating our brands please contact us at 1-877-583-3142. If you suspect price gouging, please contact your state’s attorney general.

While the science continues to develop on COVID-19 and how it spreads, there is currently no evidence to support transmission from products or packaging. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low, and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled and exposed to different conditions and temperatures is also low.

All of our facilities have plans in place (through guidance from local, state and national health agencies) to manage this appropriately and protect the health of our team. We are following those plans to manage this situation. The safety of our employees is our highest priority and we will continue to keep them frequently updated throughout this situation.

While the timing continues to be uncertain due to many variables in the supply chain process, our primary focus is to do all we can to meet consumer demand. We’re expediting product that optimizes our existing inventory, increasing production, and utilizing a managed distribution process to smartly manage through this unusual period. Our tissue manufacturing facilities are operating 24/7 and our employees are doing all they can to serve our customers and meet consumers’ needs during this situation.

While we do have the ability to sell directly from our brand websites, those sites are experiencing similar demand that we see at retail stores. For the time being, we have decided to prioritize our retail partners (both in-store and online), as this is the fastest way to get rolls into consumer’s hands.

Based on IRI panel data, along with the US Census, the average U.S. household (2.6 people) uses 409 equivalized regular rolls per year. Using our own calculations, staying at home 24-7 would result in 40% increase vs. average daily usage. Therefore, to last approximately 2 weeks, a 2-person household would need 9 double rolls, or 5 mega rolls. A 4-person household would need 17 double rolls, or 9 mega rolls to last approximately 2 weeks.

Both Angel Soft and Quilted Northern are manufactured in North America, primarily the United States.

Georgia-Pacific Foundation continues to work with hundreds of organizations who provide services to communities and people in need at the national, regional, state and local levels. From donating leftover masks and hand sanitizer to local hospitals to providing plates and napkins to first responders, we continue to support the needs of others in cash and product donations. Here are just a few examples:

GP has a relationship with Kids in Need Foundation and throughout the pandemic has worked with them to get much needed school supplies into the hands of teachers and students who need them by providing school supply boxes that included Sparkle® paper towels to underserved communities.

GP has worked with disaster relief agency Convoy of Hope and they often assist in situations where the health and well-being of others is in jeopardy and they’ve committed to provide emergency food, water and supplies like toilet paper and paper towels from Georgia-Pacific to those hit especially hard by COVID-19 here in the United States.

Our Brawny® brand celebrates individuals who take matters into their own hands and tackle challenges head-on. These people are our giants. Inspired by their strength and resilience, The Brawny® Giants Initiative was launched to recognize and support those who go out of their way to help others, whether they’ve been doing it for years, or have risen to the occasion in times of crisis. See how these giants have helped: https://www.brawny.com/giants-take-action

Media Inquiries

For media inquiries please contact Greg Guest at
Phone: 404-652-4721

For additional information, visit our industry partner pages at:

American Forest & Paper Association: https://afandpa.org/Covid-19

NACASI: https://www.ncasi.org/homepage/response-to-coronavirus/