Amazon has just announced that the company will be slashing its paid leave policies in half for those workers that are forced to quarantine. The policy drops down to just 40 hours or one week from its initial 14 days of paid leave. 

COVID-19 Paid Leave Drops from 14 Days to Just 40 Hours

The initial policy that Amazon instituted back in March 2020 was to cover up to 14 days, as per the Seattle Times, of paid leave for its workers that get hit with COVID-19. Now, the company will only cover one week or up to 40 hours.

The notice to workers read that through the past two years, Amazon has consistently based its response to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic on the guidance from the CDC and advice of the company's very own medical experts.

Changes Will Go Into Effect Immediately

According to the story by Engadget, the notice then went on saying that the 40-hour or one week paid leave for those that get COVID-19 will go into effect immediately and will apply to all employees that are in the United States regardless of their own vaccination status.

The shift actually mirrors the CDC's fully updated isolated guidance, which was pushed on December 27 along with Walmart's decision to reduce its paid pandemic sick leave policies as well. To add, it currently stands to reason that other companies will most likely follow Amazon and Walmart's suit.

Amazon Reinstates Mask Policy for On-Site Workers

Amazon has just recently reinstated the company's mask policy for on-site workers. The requirement, plus mandatory temperature checks, were put in place during the same time as the original two-week leave policy in 2021 and was also subsequently rolled back for workers that were fully vaccinated back in May.

Although Amazon has most of the time been criticized for the treatment of its staff, in this particular case, it is actually following the federal guidance while looking out for its very own financial interests above other priorities.

COVID Tests at $14 Nearly Double

Earlier during the week, the White House deal with retailers that mandated at-home COVID-tests be sold for an affordable $14 has finally expired. This then led to those exact same tests nearly doubling in price at Kroger and Walmart, as per an article by the Wall Street Journal.

Some policies, including pandemic unemployment benefits, have also ended while other safeguards like New York's eviction moratorium, for example, are slated to expire soon as per Gothamist. To add, the US is still experiencing a "record-setting" amount of positive COVID-19 cases as per NBC News.

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What Happened to Hazard Pay

Amazon is actually correct that the CDC altered what it now believes to be the necessary length of isolation when it comes to positive-testing individuals. To add, this still eludes the fact that both Amazon and Walmart, not long ago, still offered hazard pay to their workers for facing the same risks that also exist today.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the policies were also rolled back quickly as well.

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Written by Urian B.

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