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

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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.

All U.S.-based Amazon 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 a company notice sent to employees, which was viewed by CNBC.

An Amazon spokesperson confirmed the policy change.

The e-commerce giant initially offered up to two weeks of pay for any employees diagnosed with Covid-19 or placed into quarantine, but shortened paid leave to 10 days, in line with earlier 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 CDC, which halved isolation requirements for asymptomatic people to five days. The updated recommendations also shortened the time that close contacts need to quarantine.

The move mirrors that 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 lingered and new 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.

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