Amazon cuts paid Covid leave time for workers following changes to CDC guidance

Technology

Amazon fulfillment center warehouse.
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Amazon is cutting paid leave time for U.S. front-line workers who test positive for Covid-19 or have to quarantine after exposure to the virus.

Amazon said all U.S. workers who test positive for Covid-19 and those required to quarantine will now be eligible for one week, or up to 40 hours, of paid leave, according to an employee notice, which was viewed by CNBC.

An Amazon spokesperson confirmed the policy change.

Amazon initially offered up to two weeks of pay for any employees diagnosed with Covid-19 or placed into quarantine, but later shortened its paid leave to ten days, in line with guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The company said it was adjusting its policy after “reviewing the newly released guidance” from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which cut isolation requirements for asymptomatic people with Covid from 10 to five days. The updated recommendations also shortened the time that close contacts need to quarantine.

Amazon is following in the footsteps of Walmart, the nation’s largest private employer, which announced Wednesday it would cut pandemic-related paid leave in half.

Amazon and other companies’ approaches to the virus have repeatedly shifted as the pandemic has stretched on and new Covid variants arise. Amazon recently reinstated its mask mandate for all U.S. workers, regardless of their vaccination status, as a result of the highly contagious omicron variant.

WATCH: CDC faces backlash after revised quarantine guidance

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