MIAMI, FL - September 19, 2004 - As evidence of its commitment to our troops, Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. has generously offered to assist those employees who are called upon to serve our country. Under the Company’s policy, those employees who must report to active duty may be entitled to receive compensation from the Company to “fill the gap” between what they earned at Southern and their salary from the U.S. Government. “The motive behind our Company’s initiative is to support our government’s national and international efforts to combat terrorism and support our troops, at home and abroad,” said Wayne E. Chaplin, President and Chief Operating Officer of Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc.
This policy has been in place since the 9/11 attacks. During this three-year period, the Company has made a commitment to qualified employees serving in any branch of the nation’s military in the form of “no-strings-attached” financial support. “The goal of our financial support is two-fold: We want to support our troops and we want to support our employees,” Mr. Chaplin said. “Our corporate policy is clear and simple: If one of our employees is called up to active military duty, our Company pledges to make up any difference between an employee’s current military pay and the monthly income that individual was earning at the time of their call-up to active military service, anywhere in the world. We want to help as best we can to maintain an individual’s financial stability during their service to our country.”
Over the past few years, dozens of Southern employees have actively served in the United States Air Force, the United States Army Reserves, the United States Army National Guard, The United States Coast Guard, The United States Marines, The United States Marine Reserves, The United States Naval Reserves, among others, and qualified employees have received financial support from Southern during their service.
Here is how Southern’s military service support program operates, according to Mark Krauss, Vice-President of Human Resources for Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. When a Southern employee is called up to active duty, the individual may contact their appropriate Human Resources department at Southern to review and determine on a case-by-case basis his or her eligibility for financial support from the Company.
Mr. Krauss explains that, “the aim of all such financial support from Southern is to make up any difference between lower military pay and the salary level of the Southern employee at the time of entering active military service. It is our Company’s way of showing support for the employee and their families during a difficult time.” It is noted that some employees actually receive a higher amount of pay from the military due to their seniority and thus require no financial support from the Company. Despite the fact that Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. is not legally required to make these financial commitments to its employees, the Company’s senior executive management made the decision to do so immediately after 9/11, according to Mr. Krauss.
Mr. Chaplin states, “We are extremely proud of the military service that our employees have made and continue to make on behalf of our country. This is our way of showing support to our troops and our military efforts, here and overseas. We wish everyone a safe return home and a welcome back to the Company once their tours of duty are concluded.”
For more information about the Company’s military service policies, please contact your local Human Resources executive, or Mr. Mark Krauss at firstname.lastname@example.org.