Amazon has decided to no longer offer paid time off for workers who test positive for COVID-19. The company will instead grant frontline staff up to five days of unpaid leave, with the option for workers to use their allocated sick time if needed.
Announced in a memo the company sent out on Saturday, the new policy sees Amazon once again scaling back the protections it offers workers. At the start of the pandemic, the company gave workers up to 14 days of paid time off. In January, it reduced the leave to half.
In addition, the company stated that it will not allow time off to the employees when they will be waiting to hear back their results. This is not just it. The company will end its vaccine incentive program. The initiative saw Amazon pay workers $40 for every COVID-19 vaccine dose they went out to get. It also plans that it will no longer notify entire sites of positive COVID-19 cases.
“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 in the notice.
Amazon’s updated COVID-19 policies will go into effect the same day we’ll find out if workers at the company’s LDJ5 warehouse in Staten Island voted to unionize. Smalls gained international recognition when he led a walkout at JFK8 at the start of the pandemic to protest Amazon’s COVID-19 safety policies.