On Tuesday, the retail giant sent a memo to its 1.5 million U.S. employees with the new policy. The company also informed workers that one of its store associates in Cynthiana, Kentucky, tested positive for COVID-19.
The woman’s condition is improving with medical care, the company said. The Cynthiana store has remained open “with the support and encouragement of the state government,” the memo said.
The company provided the note from Walmart U.S. CEO John Furmer, Sam’s Club CEO Kath McLay and Walmart Chief People Officer Donna Morris to FOX Business on Tuesday afternoon.
The COVID-19 emergency leave policy has three potential circumstances.
In one case, employees can decide to stay home if they are “unable to work or are uncomfortable at work.” The company said it will waive its attendance policy through the end of April, but workers must call in to notify their managers and use regular paid time off options.
If a company store or office is required to quarantine, those employees will still be paid for two weeks and their absence won’t be counted against their regular absence allowance. The same policy goes for individual employees who are required to quarantine by Walmart or a government agency.
“We’ve chosen two weeks because it matches the recommended time for quarantines related to this virus,” the memo said.
Employees who have confirmed cases of the coronavirus will also get up to two weeks of pay with the potential for a longer term for up to 26 weeks if they cannot return to work after two weeks.
“We will continue to monitor this situation closely with the support of our Emergency Operations Center and health officials,” the memo said.