Automobile

Ford delays return-to-work plans until October

DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. is delaying by three months return-to-work plans for most of its U.S. salaried employees amid a surge in virus cases in Michigan.

The automaker had previously planned to allow non-place dependent workers the opportunity to return to the office starting in July and confirmed the timing as recently as last month when it announced a new hybrid work model.

Those plans changed this week after the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration extended emergency rules set to expire this week that banned non-essential in-person office work. The ban now extends until October 14 but can be modified or withdrawn at any time.

“The health and safety of our team is our first priority,” Ford said in a statement. “Local guidelines continue to inform our return to workplace protocols and given the announcement by the State of Michigan, we will delay the gradual return to campus we had planned with our hybrid work model from July to October for non-place dependent workers.”

Ford said last month it still has 30,000 employees in North America who are working remotely full time. COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to rise in Michigan, where Ford is headquartered.

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