Speed Reads

clocking back in

Amazon ends COVID-19 paid sick leave policy

As of Monday, Amazon employees no longer have pandemic-era paid time off. The online retail giant announced it would trim its COVID-19 sick leave, allowing staffers five unpaid excused sick days if they are diagnosed with the coronavirus, instead of its previous 2-week paid leave policy, Reuters reports.

"We can continue to safely adjust to our pre-COVID policies," the company said in a statement to its employees, citing "sustained easing of the pandemic, ongoing availability of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, and updated guidance from [the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] public health authorities," CNN Business writes.

In addition to the new sick leave changes, the e-commerce giant will no longer send alerts to employees of other positive COVID-19 cases at its facilities, unless legally required.

This all comes as the company has been in the spotlight over a "recent effort to unionize some warehouses," Reuters writes. One facility last month became the first Amazon warehouse to vote in favor of unionization.

However, The Verge reports that later on MondayAmazon workers at a different facility in Staten Island, New York, voted against organizing with the Amazon Labor Union. "The facility has around 1,600 workers in total and began its election last week," says The Verge. The ALU tweeted that "the fight has just begun."