Labor Day Update from Nossa: How We’re Supporting our Nossa Fam During COVID-19

Labor Day Update from Nossa: How We’re Supporting our Nossa Fam During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a tough time for everyone, and as a company we have been focused on taking care of each other, and ensuring our business survives to provide meaningful work to our staff now and in the future. This Labor Day, we want to share this post with the ways we are supporting our staff — past and present — during these times. Our goal here is to be transparent with our company practices, so you can know what your purchases are supporting when you choose Nossa Familia.

This post is an update to our previous post on this subject, “How We're Supporting our Nossa Fam During COVID-19” from April 17, 2020.

Appreciation Pay

To show our thanks and gratitude to our essential workers, Nossa Familia Coffee will pay an “Appreciation Bonus” to all our staff whose main job functions do not allow them to work from home.  This bonus starts in September and is tied to the phases of opening in Multnomah County. It will continue indefinitely until large gatherings are allowed (Phase 3). We will pay an additional $2 per hour during Phase 1, and $1 per hour once the risk is reduced and we move to Phase 2. This is in recognition of the extra risk that each of these team members are taking to ensure we keep getting coffee out to our customers! 

Paid Leave & Unemployment

  • All Nossa employees have access to paid time off as part of their employment.

  • Early on, before CARES, Expanded Sick Leave, or Expanded FMLA, we adjusted our Paid Time Off policy to allow employees affected by COVID to dip negative (up to 40 hours) into their PTO balance. This ended once the government instituted the items above with new rules on paid time off and sick leave.

  • We closed all four of our cafés in late March and were forced to lay off or furlough all of our café staff. We conducted layoffs and furloughs of staff so that folks could maximize their benefits through available social safety nets. 

  • We focused on making sure we can continue providing a living wage to those who remain employed with us, as well as connect those who have been laid off or had their hours reduced with the benefits that they need. 

  • We are participating in the Work Share program to minimize layoffs where several of our staff have reduced their hours by around 40%. We are working to ensure that those who continue to work feel safe and healthy doing so, and we are not asking anyone to continue working who does not want to do so.

Pay & Schedules

  • We instituted hazard pay for our warehouse Production staff from April through June by setting aside a percent of web sales for Production employees (amounting to an average increase of $3/hour).

  • We encourage generous tipping, and have a default tip rate of 20% through our online ordering system for café staff. Our tipped baristas are currently making more tips than usual, thank you to our generous customers, it’s very appreciated! 

  • We have adapted our schedules with flexibility and benefits in mind, particularly for staff who maintain a part-time work schedule.

  • We signed up for Work Share, which allows those employees on reduced hours to collect a portion of lost wages through unemployment.

  • We are implementing an Appreciation Bonus for our frontline staff starting in September, which will be tied to the phases of reopening in Multnomah County.

Care Packages & Essential Goods

  • We purchased care packages (produce, dairy, coffee, eggs, etc.) for all laid-off or reduced-hours staff.  We delivered those to each person early in April.

  • We leveraged our wholesale relationships to create a list of items (food, mostly) that our employees can purchase at wholesale prices.

Health & Sanitation Policies + PPE

  • Company-wide:

    • We purchased both disposable and reusable masks for our staff to wear at work.

    • We supply gloves for those employees required to wear them or who prefer to wear them.

    • We have an abundance of hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies, and new, stricter regimens for facility sanitation.

    • All employees and partners who regularly work in our spaces are required to sign Space Use agreements showing their commitment to our updated guidelines.

  • At the café:

    • Customers are not permitted to enter the building and all service is outdoors, where risk of transmission is much lower.

    • We set up markers on the ground for physical spacing.

    • We added physical barriers to ensure 6’ distances were maintained between staff and customers.

    • We added plexiglass barriers for physical protection between our café staff and customers.

    • We mandated masks be worn by employees and encouraged masks be worn by customers (following government mandates on masks).

    • We ceased accepting cash payments and stressed contactless payment.

    • We adjusted our internal operating procedures to ensure staff members are able to maintain 6’ distances except for brief interactions

    • We are being cautious about “adding” to our services (for example, allowing outdoor seating, which we have not yet permitted).

    • We added an online ordering option for customers to save time and touches at the register.

    • We removed most of our reusable dish options and placed stricter rules on personal mug usage, now only allowing for contactless drip coffee purchases.

  • At the roastery/warehouse/office: 

    • All non-essential staff who can work from home are working from home and not required to come into the office.

    • All meetings are done remotely when possible.

    • All employees must wear masks when in the Production room.

    • All employees are required to maintain 6’ distances throughout their time at the warehouse.

    • Visitors are required to check-in and wear masks upon entering the building.

    • We have adjusted the location of items so most visitors don’t have to travel beyond the entryway of the building before exiting.

Further Reading

Here are a few additional blog posts we've made regarding our COVID-19 response:


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