Amazon workers lose paid COVID leave

(The Hill) – Amazon will no longer offer paid time off to employees with COVID-19, according to multiple reports.

The online retail giant announced the change, which took effect on Monday after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its guidelines regarding its handling of the virus and the widespread availability of vaccines in the United States, said noted Reuters, adding that employees who contract COVID -19 will be granted five days of excused and unpaid leave.

Workers are also still allowed to use their sick leave if needed, according to CNBC.

The Hill has contacted Amazon for comment.

Amazon has been slowly recalling its COVID-19 furlough policies since the start of the year.

In January, it shortened its paid vacation policy for employees from 10 days to seven days. This shift was fueled largely by labor shortages caused by the rapid spread of the omicron variant.

At the start of the pandemic, the company initially offered up to two weeks of paid leave to any employee with COVID-19 who needed to be quarantined.

The development comes shortly after Amazon won a hearing on its claims that a Staten Island facility’s successful vote to unionize, the first site in the United States to do so, was poorly executed.

“We’ve always said we want our employees to have their voices heard, and in this case that didn’t happen – less than a third of site employees voted for the union, and the overall turnout was exceptionally low,” Amazon spokeswoman Kelly Nantel said of the vote.

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