Amazon drops COVID-19 paid sick leave

Amazon no longer sending site-wide notifications of positive cases in its facilities unless required by law

Amazon is forgoing its coronavirus paid sick leave policy now that the U.S. has gotten a better grip on the pandemic. 

In an internal memo obtained by FOX Business, Amazon informed employees that the company would be shifting back to pre-COVID policies thanks to the "sustained easing of the pandemic, ongoing availability of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, and updated guidance from public health authorities." 

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This includes returning to its standard sick leave policy. Moving forward, all U.S. employees will "get up to five days of excused, unpaid time for a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis, regardless of vaccine status," according to the memo. 

An Amazon truck drives in Philadelphia, Friday, April 30, 2021.  (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, file / AP Newsroom)

Now that rapid testing is widely available, the company will also "no longer excuse time while waiting for a test result," the memo continued. 

According to Amazon, "accrued time may be used to cover a COVID-19 related absence and should be reported in A to Z per our standard sick leave policy."

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Amazon also reminded employees that they "should always stay home if you are sick to protect yourself and others." 

Within the memo, the company also alerted employees that the company discontinued its vaccination events around the U.S. 

Jocelyn Nieto stows packages into special containers after Amazon robots deliver separated packages by zip code at an Amazon warehouse facility in Goodyear, Ariz. on Dec. 17, 2019.  (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin / AP Newsroom)

"While incentivizing vaccination was effective in the past, it's being used much less as vaccination rates have plateaued," the memo continued. 

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Still, Amazon encourages vaccinations, saying "being fully vaccinated and getting a booster is the best way to protect yourself." For those who are not vaccinated, Amazon "strongly" encourages mask-wearing.

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The company will also no longer send site-wide notifications of positive cases in its facilities "unless required by law," and encourages everyone to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and their community.