Taking Action - ONEOK's Response to COVID-19

ONEOK is taking steps to manage potential impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak on our employees, customers, contractors, the communities where we operate and our business. As always, we remain focused on operating our assets safely, reliably and in an environmentally responsible manner.

ONEOK is considered an Essential Critical Infrastructure business by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. We are currently monitoring and taking actions in consideration of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and government guidelines for limiting the potential spread of the virus. We continue to prioritize health and safety while remaining focused on providing the essential services that our customers and communities rely on us for.

Our initial response to COVID-19 includes: 

  • We have asked all employees to work from home who are able and have postponed all nonessential company travel.

  • Critical employees and contractors who continue to work on-site are exercising “social” (physical) distancing and following enhanced safety protocols such as increased facility access restrictions and sanitation procedures.

  • Temporary benefit plan changes were enacted, such as increasing options for virtual health visits and waiving charges for virtual visits and COVID-19 diagnostic tests.

  • All employees continue to receive regular compensation, and we continue to maintain contracts and agreements with contingent workers, contractors and staffing agencies.

  • ONEOK opted into CARES Act 401(k) hardship distributions for employees.

  • Our Human Resources group is providing supervisors and employees individualized COVID-19 support as needed.

  • ONEOK has created a dedicated employee information site to house regular updates regarding COVID-19 and is providing resources on topics such as prevention best practices, physical health, mental health and caregiver services.

Our focus, however, is not only on our employees and the company – it is also on the communities where we operate and where our employees live and work. ONEOK has committed approximately $600,000 to support COVID-19 relief efforts, including:

  • Partnering with the North Dakota Community Foundation to create the ONEOK Hospitality Employee COVID-19 Relief Fund to assist hospitality employees with immediate needs.

  • A contribution to the Northwest North Dakota Community Foundation Relief Fund to support community organizations and nonprofits in Williams, Divide, McKenzie and Mountrail counties.

  • Partnering with the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation and Oklahoma Restaurant Association to fund the Tulsa Restaurant Employee Relief Fund to support immediate needs of workers in the hospitality industry.

  • Continuing to evaluate support for public schools and community organizations to support those on the front line who help meet immediate needs.
 

  • We remain focused on operating our assets safely, reliably and in an environmentally responsible manner, so we can continue to provide essential services for our customers and communities. 

  • We proactively postponed several capital-growth projects to enhance our financial strength and flexibility during this time of market uncertainty.

  • We are maintaining regular communication with the financial community.

  • Leaders continue to prioritize communication, including frequent updates to our board of directors from executive management and updates from ONEOK’s President and Chief Executive Officer to all employees.

  • We continue to hire new employees for critical positions through virtual interviews.