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Best Buy rolls out nationwide COVID-19 testing program for employees

A consumer electronics giant is adding free COVID-19 test kits to its employee screening process.

Best Buy, which launched a mandatory health screening protocol for all employees who do not usually work from home in March 2020, now provides them with the opportunity to request a free COVID-19 test kit if they are experiencing any symptoms or have learned of recent exposure. The retailer will continue to pay employees while they quarantine and await the results.

Before each shift, all Best Buy employees not working from home are required to complete a mobile health screening questionnaire no more than three hours before reporting to work. The screening asks questions related to potential COVID-19 symptoms and exposure. 

If an employee fails the screening, they are instructed to quarantine at home, and with the rollout of Best Buy’s new program, can request a free COVID-19 test. While the employee waits for the test kit and results, they will receive a week’s pay based on their average hours worked from the previous six weeks.

If the results from this test come back negative, the employee is immediately eligible to return to work. If the test results come back positive, the employee will isolate and recover at home. They will receive an additional average week’s pay, based on the employee’s average hours worked from the previous six weeks before failing the screening. 

In addition to the COVID-19 testing program, Best Buy is also providing paid time off to any employee who gets fully vaccinated. Part-time hourly employees will get four hours of personal time off to use how they wish, and full-time employees will receive eight hours.

Employees who receive the vaccine and experience apparent side effects will receive sick time of up to four hours if part-time and eight hours if full-time. The retailer’s health screening process has also been modified for employees who recently received the vaccine and experience side effects. These employees do not have to quarantine for the full 10 days if their side effects resolve in a timely manner. Vaccination is not mandatory for Best Buy employees.

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