After employee backlash, leaked email details how L'Oreal is moving to 50% capacity in its offices and requiring employees to clean their desks three times a day

  • L'Oreal USA, which employs nearly 11,000 people, is in the process of bringing its employees back to work in its offices.
  • The company is undergoing phase two of its reopening process, which involves increasing office occupancies to 50%. The move to reopen offices caused a backlash from employees in May.  
  • "The world of beauty is not a remote or virtual one," said president and CEO of L'Oreal USA Stephane Rinderknech in a May 28 memo to employees regarding the reopening of the offices.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

As workforces of major companies continue to operate from home, L'Oreal USA is heading back to the offices.

The beauty company, which employs nearly 11,000 people and whose brands include Garnier, Lancôme, and Urban Decay, is in the process of increasing the total occupancy in its offices to 50%. The process of bringing employees back has caused backlash, as Business Insider previously reported in August

At the time, internal communications and interviews with employees revealed a sense of fear and frustration regarding the mandate to return to the offices. But L'Oreal executives countered that as a creative company they value in-person collaboration and on-site face time.

"The world of beauty is not a remote or virtual one," said president and CEO of L'Oreal USA Stephane Rinderknech in a May 28 memo to employees regarding the reopening of the offices. The email was viewed by Business Insider. 

With offices across 13 states, L'Oreal has adjusted its plans for returning to the office according to local guidance. The company began its first phase of requiring employees to come back to the office in a staggered process with reduced capacity in early July, with some workers coming back as early as June. L'Oreal confirmed to Business Insider in August that phase two of its return to office plan would involve increasing capacity from 25% to 50% in its offices.

According to an email sent to employees at L'Oreal's Urban Decay offices in California, the move toward 50% capacity in those offices will begin October 26. According to a current employee who shared the email with Business Insider, L'Oreal workers were informed of this move via one-on-one video calls with their managers before an email was sent out.

"We continue to keep your health and safety as our No. 1 priority and will continue to ensure that the best practices from the L'Oréal Group and CDC recommendations are in place within our Safe Together comprehensive plan," reads the email. "This ensures our workplace remains safe for all our team members."

As in phase one, employees will enter the office on rotating schedules and will work in the office during alternate weeks. In addition to temperature checks, limited entry points, social distancing measures, and a no-visitor policy, L'Oreal will be providing two facemasks for workers daily — "one to wear in the morning and a fresh one for the afternoon," according to an email sent to employees. 

The email also outlined the details for enforcing a "strict 'clean desk' policy," wherein employees must sanitize their desks three times a day with products provided by the company. 

"We realize these are unprecedented times and some of these activities may seem awkward at first, but we feel strongly that these are the best measures to put in place to ensure our safety," the email reads.

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