Amazon Is Getting Rid of This at the End of This Month
A leaked memo says the company will no longer offer this in August.
Amid criticisms over its workplace conditions in the last year, Amazon has maintained that employee safety is its top priority, especially during the COVID pandemic. As time goes on, however, certain protocols the company put in place are being lifted, even with COVID infections rising again as a result of the Delta variant. One precaution in particular is reportedly being nixed before August. Read on to find out what the company says it will no longer be doing after the end of this month.
Amazon will no longer be providing on-site COVID testing for workers.
Amazon workers can currently get on-site COVID testing, but that is coming to an end. The company told employees that it will stop COVID testing after July 30 though an internal memo sent on its internal A to Z employee app, The Information reported on July 19. The news outlet confirmed that it had seen images of the message sent by Amazon.
"Free COVID-19 testing is now widely available and our employees have many options available to them, including through health providers and public testing sites," the message explained. Amazon told CNN that it can resume its COVID testing program if there is a change in guidance from local or national public health officials, but did not indicate whether or not it would give employees time off to get COVID tested.
The company is also not requiring Amazon workers to be vaccinated.
Despite lifting another COVID precaution, Amazon isn't requiring on-site warehouse workers to get vaccinated. The company is encouraging vaccination, however. In March, Amazon began rolling out on-site vaccination events at warehouses across the country, and by May, this effort had expanded to more than 250 locations across the U.S. and Canada. The company also announced in mid-May that it was looking to hire 75,000 new warehouse and delivery workers, offering $100 bonuses for new hires already vaccinated against COVID, the Associated Press reported. Current hourly employees receive an $80 bonus for getting vaccinated, whether on- or off-site.
Some of the states where warehouses are located still have low vaccination rates.
Amazon has more than 110 warehouses in the U.S., according to CNBC. California houses most of the company's fulfillment centers, but there are also several warehouses in other states, including several that have low vaccination rates. In Georgia, where Amazon has at least 11 fulfillment centers, only around 38 percent of the state's population has been fully vaccinated, according to CDC data compiled by Becker's Hospital Review. Texas, Florida, and South Carolina also have fully vaccinated less than 50 percent of their populations.
Amazon still has mask requirements for some warehouses.
Amazon dropped its mask mandate for most vaccinated U.S. workers on May 24. However, warehouse workers in California, Hawaii, and Jackson, Mississippi, are still required to wear masks, even if fully vaccinated. The company also says it checks to make sure employees are vaccinated before granting them reprieve from mask requirements in permitted states. Amazon requires that workers upload images of their vaccine cards to its A to Z app, and workers who do so are given a green checkmark that indicates they can be on-site without a mask.