Amazon workers will no longer be paid when they leave their jobs in Covid

A worker sorts packages in an outbound terminal at an Amazon fulfillment center in Eastvale, California on Tuesday, August 31, 2021.

Watchara Phomicinda | MediaNews Group | The Riverside Press-Enterprise via Getty Images

Amazon will cut paid time off for frontline American workers who test positive for Covid-19, effective Monday.

All U.S.-based Amazon workers who test positive for Covid-19 will now receive up to five days of unpaid, excused leave, the company told workers in a notice sent to them. on Saturday. A spokesperson told CNBC that workers can still use sick leave if needed.

In Saturday’s announcement, Amazon added that workers awaiting Covid test results will no longer have time off as rapid tests are now widely available.

The e-commerce giant has been slowly rolling back its Covid policies as vaccines become more widely available and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has changed its guidance. Initially, the company offered up to two weeks of paid time off for any employee diagnosed with Covid-19 or placed in quarantine. In January, the company reduce paid leave time up to a week or up to 40 hours.

As part of the pullback, Amazon will stop sending site-wide notices of positive cases in its facilities, unless required by law. The company will also end efforts to encourage vaccination, it said.

The company said in the announcement: “The continued mitigation of the pandemic, the continued availability of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, and updated guidance from public health authorities, all Both show that we can safely continue to adjust our pre-COVID policies,” the company said in the announcement.

This decision is likely to provoke backlash from workers support unions Who is arguing? better working conditions and improved benefits at its warehouses. The move comes a day after an Amazon warehouse on New York’s Staten Island close its union drive. The National Labor Relations Board will begin counting votes on May 2.

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