United Shore Employee: “Our Building Is Not Safe”

The number of United Shore employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 climbed to 84, according to the Oakland County Health Department – but CEO Mat Ishbia told the Detroit Free Press that the virus is “not being spread around here.”

United Shore, a Pontiac, Michigan-based mortgage firm, was slapped with a county health order earlier this month after 53 employees tested positive for COVID-19. Since then, another 31 employees have tested positive, the Free Press reported Saturday.

The first case at United Shore was recorded June 29 – and the company is believed to have the most cases of any Oakland County business, a county official told the Free Press.

But Ishbia claims it has nothing to do with the company, despite multiple complaints from employees – both to the county and on the social jobs site Glassdoor. The Free Press reported:

“Would I be here every day if I thought there was something that was not safe here, no,” Ishbia said in a video released Friday to United Shore employees. “It is safer here than in a grocery store, a restaurant, Target.” …

“We’ve had a lot of positive cases, and we’re going to have a lot more, because you know what — that’s what happens in a pandemic,” Ishbia said in the company-wide video Friday. “The key is that it’s not being spread around here.”

Read Also: State Cites United Shore For Covid Response

But employees have taken to Glassdoor to share their frustrations, with multiple employees reporting that company leadership says it is taking a “fact over fear” approach to managing the pandemic.

One employee wrote that, “Team leads are being demoted over standing up for their team members rights or refusing to come into an unsafe work environment.” The employee also used language that reflects what Ishbia told the Free Press:

“I work in TMS and we are told to disregard true fear and our team members concerns and point them to the fact of ‘going to the grocery store is more dangerous.’ OUR BUILDING IS NOT SAFE. This is a cult and everyone who drank the koolaide is finally waking up to see what this is.”

Another employee also reports that leadership uses the “facts over fear” language:

“I was a large fan of United Shore until COVID. Now I’m embarrassed to be here. The health code violations in the news are correct. The leaders say ‘facts over fear’ then lie about the healthcare violations and the seriousness of the virus,” the employee said.

“They seem to think the rules don’t apply to us because we’re an essential business. They say coming in is voluntary. I know dozens of people who are going into the office every day. They’re all required to go to the office to preserve the culture. Some of them are high risk or live with high risk people and are terrified to be in the office but are required to go in every day.”

Another employee’s report would seem to cast some doubt on Ishbia’s claim that “it isn’t being spread here.”

“People who tested positive for Covid-19 on the sales floor exposed their teammates to Covid-19,” the employee said. “Some of these people were not working remotely they were physically in the building at their desks. 4 confirmed positive cases on my team alone. Some of them were team leaders who were being inundated with questions face to face prior to the masks being mandatory. Please don’t gamble with our health.”

Another employee said, “Priority number one at any business should be to keep your people safe, yet at United Shore there is a reckless disregard for human life all in service of slimy mortgage brokers.”

In the health order to Ishbia, the county directed United Shore 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. 

The county 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.”

That isn’t happening, according to an employee on Glassdoor.

“Covid is a joke. The news article called them out and they continue to lie,” the employee said. “No extra cleaning is being done during the day, no social distancing and masks are discouraged. I’ve walked into the building and have been coughed on and never symptom checked. My teammate I sit next to was sadly one who tested positive, and I know this ONLY because she messaged me to tell me. No one was told or sent home like they claim. … Also, anyone who spoke up from the article has been let go. Mat is just a greedy human and his leadership and blind employees are his cult.”

Read all Glassdoor reviews here.