Coronavirus: Amazon nixes paid COVID-19 leave for US employees

SEATTLE — Amazon will no longer grant up to seven days of paid time off for U.S. workers infected with COVID-19, the company announced in an internal Saturday memo obtained by CNBC.

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Beginning Monday, the e-commerce behemoth will offer up to five days of unpaid, excused leave for workers battling COVID-19, with the option for employees to use accrued sick leave, The Verge reported.

Per Saturday’s notice, workers will also no longer be granted excused time off while awaiting COVID-19 test results because rapid tests are now widely available, CNBC reported.

Amazon initially provided up to two weeks of paid time off for any worker diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed into quarantine, but the company capped that figure at as many as 40 hours in January.

In addition, the company will stop sending site-wide notifications of positive cases in its facilities and nix incentivizing vaccination efforts, according to the internal communication.

“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 stated in the memo.

Previously, Amazon workers were paid $40 for every COVID-19 vaccine dose they received, according to The Verge.

“We are monitoring conditions closely and will continue to adjust our response as appropriate,” Amazon stated.