The online retail giant Amazon.com Inc. says its ending paid time off for employees with COVID-19.
The company announced the move over the weekend, sparking concern and outrage among Americans.
Effective May 2, 2022 employees of Amazon will not be eligible for paid time-off if they have COVID-19.
What is the new COVID-19 paid time off policy for Amazon workers?
The change means that U.S.-based Amazon workers will get five days off of work.
While the time off will be ‘excused’ and not count against workers — it will not guarantee pay. In fact, it means the time off for a positive COVID test is unpaid.
“We can continue to safely adjust to our pre-COVID policies,” the company said in a statement.
Why did Amazon make this policy change?
The company claims it comes down to getting back to pre-pandemic norms, but health officials around the U.S. are worried about the rate at which the virus is transmitting.
Some have also argued that the policy is a response to unionization efforts. In January, the company trimmed paid leave for workers with the virus to a week — or 40 hours.
Prior to that point — workers could get upwards of two weeks off after getting the virus.
In addition to that change, the company said it will no longer inform employees of close contacts or other positive tests in specific work sites.