THE BASICS: A “critical part” of pharmaceutical company AbbVie‘s success is “face-to-face” interaction, CEO Richard Gonzalez explained in an Aug. 27 email outlining its process for bringing thousands of U.S.-based employees back to work. This is beyond irresponsible.
According to CNBC “AbbVie workers say they worry that the company is putting profits ahead of safety and the health of its U.S. employees and their families at risk. At the same time, they say they feel pressure to come in. Based in Lake Bluff, Illinois, the company is one of the largest drugmakers in the world with 47,000 global employees. More than 12,000 employees work at AbbVie in the U.S. across four states, according to its website.”
This is a company whose CEO compensation is based on fending off patent challenges to its top-selling drug Humira. This, however, goes beyond all that. COVID is not under control and forcing employees back to work is a clear indication that they could care less about their people.
Some drug companies have done the right thing telling employees that it may be next spring before they come back to work. If a company has online tools so employees can collaborate there is no reason to go back to the office. In fact, some companies are thinking that they may allow employees to work from home as long as they want.
Clearly AbbVie is putting business ahead of people. A contact of mine at AbbVie Sid she is going to quit if forced to return to the office. “I have three children and the idea that I could make them sick is stressful”. Another person said he is sending out his resumes. “I’m not going into the office and I know my manager is going. to hold it against me at performance time” he told me.
Requiring employees to come back to the office is inexcusable. Somewhere someone within the organization is putting profits ahead of employees but AbbVie’s history has always been to do that.