Amazon Ends Paid COVID-19 Sick Leave Policy for Workers
- Amazon is ending its paid time off policy for US employees diagnosed with COVID-19.
- The company told employees on Saturday that workers with COVID-19 will receive up to five days of excused, unpaid time.
- Amazon also said it was changing some COVID-19 policies as part its “safe return to normal.”
Amazon announced to its employees on Saturday that the company is ending its paid time off policy for employees with COVID-19 and is “returning to standard sick leave policies.”
Amazon employees in the US will now receive up to five days of excused, unpaid time after receiving a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis, according to the company announcement that was viewed by Insider.
As of early January, Amazon had offered employees up to one full week of paid sick leave for employees diagnosed with COVID-19. Prior to that, the company had granted employees two full weeks of paid time off for COVID-19.
An Amazon spokesperson told Insider that “employees are still able to use their sick time if needed as well.”
Amazon will also no longer excuse any time for employees who are waiting for test results given that rapid testing is “widely available,” according to the announcement to employees.
In its announcement to employees on Saturday, Amazon said it was changing several of its COVID-19 policies as part of “our safe return to normal where we can.”
“The sustained easing of the pandemic, ongoing availability of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, and updated guidance from public health authorities, all signal we can continue to safely adjust to our pre-COVID policies,” the company said.
Amazon also announced it was ending its vaccine incentives and discontinuing its practice of sending site-wide notifications of positive COVID-19 cases in its facilities, unless required by law.
The policy changes come amid a recent push for unionization at some Amazon warehouses, where workers have sought better working conditions, including pay, safety improvements, and benefits like sick leave.
Just one day prior to Saturday’s announcement, an Amazon warehouse in Staten Island finished its union drive, and the National Labor Relations Board is expected to count the ballots next week.