Exclusive Walmart halves paid leave for COVID-positive employees, extends mixed work guidelines Reuters

© Reuters. File photo: On July 20, 2020, a worker and a shopper were seen wearing masks in a Wal-Mart store in North Brunswick, New Jersey, USA. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz/File Photo

Authors: Siddharth Cavale and Richa Naidu

(Reuters)-According to a memo seen by Reuters, Walmart (NYSE:) will now provide up to one week of paid vacation in the event of an employee infected with COVID-19, instead of previously providing A policy of up to two weeks.

A memo sent to U.S. hourly workers and long-distance drivers on Tuesday stated that workers who are positive for COVID-19 and those in need of isolation—Walmart, healthcare providers, or government agencies—will be eligible for one working week of paid vacation, based on Their average wages over the past 26 payment periods.

The “COVID-19 Absences and Emergency Leave” policy is an update to the guidelines issued on December 1, 2021, which stated that workers will be provided with up to 2 weeks of paid leave.

Walmart is the largest private employer in the United States with 1.6 million workers. It was one of the first major retailers to reduce COVID-19 paid leave, and could become a leader among other major employers.

A Walmart spokesperson confirmed the changes to the COVID leave policy. The spokesperson added that Wal-Mart also requires its employees to continue to work primarily from home until January 30, although the office will remain open. The company had previously required employees to perform virtual work before January 10.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended last week that people isolate themselves for 5 days instead of 10 days after contracting COVID-19.

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