Walmart Deploys Emergency Employee Leave Program After Retail Associate Tests Positive for the Coronavirus

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Walmart Deploys Emergency Employee Leave Program After Retail Associate Tests Positive for the Coronavirus

By Jamie Grill-Goodman - 03/10/2020

Walmart is deploying an emergency employee leave program on the heels of news that a store associate in Cynthiana, KY, has tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19).  

A memo sent to employees details the new COVID-19 leave policies, according to CNBC, and the scenarios in which associates can apply. The first allows employees to stay home if he or she is unable to work or feels “uncomfortable” at work, by waiving its attendance policy through the end of April. Second, employees will receive up to two weeks of pay if they personally are under quarantine or their workplace is under quarantine. Third, if an employee is ill with a confirmed case of the coronavirus they will receive two weeks pay and can potentially receive up to 26 weeks worth of pay. This applies to both full- and part-time hourly associates.

Retailers of all sizes are being tasked with coming up with solutions for employees who may need to work from home or may become ill. Trade Joe’s is reported to be expanding the amount of paid time associates can receive if they due to respiratory illness. Amazon asked employees at its New York and New Jersey offices to work from home if they can until the end of the month, CNBC reported this week, after the company told employees last week at its San Francisco Bay Area, as well as Seattle and Bellevue, WA, offices to work from home if possible.

Last week Walmart restricted all cross-border international travel to business-critical trips and restricted less essential travel related to conferences, trade shows and other events.