When the Oakland County health department sent an emergency order to United Shore and United Wholesale Mortgage CEO Mat Ishbia about safety protocols during the pandemic, they cited “numerous complaints” about the company’s practices and more than 50 positive tests.
Those complaints are reflected on the company’s Glassdoor reviews, with numerous current and former employees alleging that company leadership forces employees to work in the office too close to others and doesn’t take health concerns seriously.
“I’m disappointed in the way that United Shore has handled themselves with Covid19. They were late to the party by sending their employees to work from home, then forced them back at the beginning of July. It doesn’t surprise me to hear that there are confirmed cases of Covid19 within the company,” one review said. “If `being family’ is built into the culture, why are you forcing people to work in the office that could expose them to Covid19? And don’t just say that they have an option of working from home because there is a fear instilled within the company that if you rock the boat you’re pushed out.”
The company responded, “Our COVID response was very quick after our governor issued the stay at home order, and many of our team members continue to voluntarily work from home.”
Oakland County Health Officer Leigh-Anne Stafford sent a letter this week to Ishbia, demanding the company do more to protect employees.
“The Oakland County Health Division has received numerous complaints that United Shore … is operating a business in direct violation of the Governors Executive Order 2020-161, that requires minimum activities for business operations and Executive Order 2020-153 that requires masks to be worn over the mouth and nose when in an indoor space. In addition, over 50 confirmed cases reported being employees that work for the Pontiac United Shore location,” Stafford wrote.
Specifically, Stafford ordered United Shore and United Wholesale Mortgage to:
- Develop and implement a plan to manage and control social/physical distancing (at least 6 feet spacing).
- Ensure employees are wearing facial coverings.
- Develop and implement a daily screening process and stay home when sick policy.
- Encourage working from home, when possible.
Stafford warned, “Failure to cooperate in all of the actions described above is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 6 months or a fine of not more than $200.00 a day, or both.”
The company, in comments to media and in response to reviews on Glassdoor, insists it is following protocols – despite the warnings and the many positive tests.
“We’ve put a lot of measures in place to best ensure everyone’s safety, including distancing our training spaces, using desk dividers, frequent and extensive cleaning protocols, and wearing masks in common areas, etc. We are following guidelines set by the CDC, the governor and Oakland county executive orders to ensure we are taking all measures we can to keep our team members healthy and safe while also setting our team members up for success in their new roles and providing the best training experience we can. Your health and well-being is very important to us,” Kristi Geromette, Vice President of Underwriting, wrote in response to a complaint on Tuesday – the same day the health department sent the letter to Ishbia.
But current and former employees don’t see it that way.
“With the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases, United Shore has failed to address this recent news and/or provide an alternative,” one new employee wrote. “This is especially the case for the recently hired employees. Sitting in a classroom with 70+ trainees and in the same building with over 1,000 other team members just doesn’t feel good and it does not feel safe. It feels a little irresponsible and feels like there is a lack of care for their employees.”
Another wrote, “This company would rather have you work in the office during a pandemic that is killing people rather than send you home. If you are allowed to work from home, the second you don’t hit your numbers you’re forced to come back into the office and if you refuse, you will lose your job. I’ve had to let go of great team members because of this. Of course, we have to spin it off like that’s not the only reason they were let go. The words `there are thousands of people who can take their place’ came right from the CEOs mouth.”
Another asked, “How can it be legal to force people to work during this pandemic?? Now you tell us that we can’t work from home unless we are meeting our production numbers??? Production numbers that you set as an average of everyone. … Guess what, your “high producers” are cutting every corner in the book!!! Now we are stuck in the office, not allowed to say anything, and barely any safety measures taken to keep us safe!!!”
Yet another wrote, “They are more concerned with cramming everyone back into the building during a global pandemic than the happiness and safety of employees. It’s sadly all about the bottom line here.”
You can see the Glassdoor reviews here.