Approximately Two weeks After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its COVID-19 isolation and quarantine guidelines – a decision some experts called ‘Reckless and dangerous’The country’s second-largest private employer decided a change was necessary for pandemic response policies as well.
In a notice to US workers on Friday that the company provided to Gizmodo on Saturday, Amazon told employees it will reduce the paid leave it provides to people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and those who have been exposed to someone with the virus after reviewing new CDC guidelines. The company’s quarantine and isolation periods are now one week – seven calendar days – during which workers are provided with up to 40 hours of paid leave.
The notice did not mention a negative COVID-19 test for return to work. We have reached out to Amazon to clarify if this is required.
Amazon previously offered workers 10 days of paid vacation. In fact, when it is covid-19 paid leave policy set in 2020, company Originally made for workers with up 14 days off. Latest notification reported by The Wall Street Journal And Engadget.
According to the notice, the new policy will take effect “immediately” and apply to all employees in the US regardless of whether or not they have been vaccinated. However, Amazon said that “extra leave options” are available to workers who still have COVID-19 after one week.
“As we have done throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to work closely with public health authorities and our medical experts to identify the most effective ways to keep our employees and communities safe,” the company told Gizmodo. “We continue to believe that the best way to protect our employees and communities from COVID-19 is through vaccinations.”
Amazon added that it has hosted more than 1,800 free on-site vaccination events across its US facilities
The policy is in line with the new CDC . directive Released in late December it states that people with covid-19 need to isolate for five days only if they are asymptomatic. The agency said those who have been exposed to Covid-19 should only self-quarantine for five days. new guidance It was severe criticism by experts In recent days to “confuse the public” and To not require people to test negative in order to leave isolation and quarantine, as the latter can increase transmission of the virus.
This is another notable change in Amazon’s response to covid-19 and its policies for workers in recent weeks. In December, in view of a Increase in infections In the United States linked to The latest omicron variant, it required warehouse workers to mask again even if they were vaccinated.
Amazon announcement came after few days Walmart, the country’s largest private employer, has also cut its paid sick leave from two weeks to one week for people with covid-19 or those who have to self-quarantine due to exposure. Individuals who remain ill after the end of their paid leave can receive “coronavirus-related overtime for up to 26 weeks,” Reuters reported.
Amazon and Walmart’s decisions may open the door wide and inspire other employers to set similar policies. While the economy certainly matters, a broad change in policies could force workers to make a difficult choice: go to work sick or not get paid. Ultimately, though, refusing to support sick or potentially sick workers and allowing the virus to spread could cost us more in the long run.