Retail giant Hobby Lobby to furlough most of its employees, close most operations nationwide

The craft store chain announced it was ending emergency leave pay for employees and suspending the use of company-provided paid time off benefits during the furloughs in order “to allow our furloughed employees" to take full advantage of the pandemic unemployment benefits.
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Unemployment claims in Oklahoma skyrocket in response to COVID-19 pandemic, newly released data shows

Oklahoma Secretary of Commerce and Workforce Development Sean Kouplen warned some employers may face difficulty rehiring lower-wage workers, since an upcoming increase in unemployment benefits could mean a significant income bump.
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As Governor’s order for non-essential business closures spreads statewide, thousands request exemptions or clarification

Asked whether the number of positive cases would be lower had the initial March 24 order extended to all counties, Stitt responded “I don’t think there is any way to speculate on that.”
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A day after closing Oklahoma stores, Hobby Lobby begins worker layoffs

Hobby Lobby employees told The Frontier that 32 employees in the company’s art and creative department were given notice on Friday that their jobs had been terminated.
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Hobby Lobby shuts down stores across Oklahoma, many employees face pay cuts

On Wednesday, Oklahoma City employees were told the warehouse and corporate offices would be shut down for at least two weeks, according to employees.
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Hobby Lobby CEO urges employees to ‘pray for our health,’ won’t shut down stores

Memos obtained by The Frontier also show that Hobby Lobby CEO David Green did not begin asking its employees at Hobby Lobby's executive office to begin “social distancing” until last Thursday, days after the city had shut down dine-in-only restaurants, gyms and entertainment venues to stop the virus's spread.
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Answering your COVID-19 questions

We know you have questions related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in Oklahoma, and we're doing our best to get you answers.
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Committee approves request for state jobs incentive money by company founded by Gov. Kevin Stitt

However, the full details of the deal approved by the committee, such as the maximum amount of public funds Gateway First Bank could receive under the contract, were not made public on Thursday.
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Company founded by Gov. Stitt seeks further taxpayer subsidies for job creation

The Jenks-based company founded by Stitt, now known as Gateway First Bank, has thus far received more than three-quarters of a million dollars in state taxpayer subsidies and began receiving payments from the state starting in late 2017, months after Stitt announced his candidacy for governor.
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Tribes make first move to court over gaming compact dispute

The Choctaw, Cherokee and Chickasaw tribes filed a lawsuit requesting a declaratory judgement on whether the gaming compact automatically renews on Jan. 1.
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