Walmart adds emergency leave program; employee tests positive for coronavirus

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Walmart adds emergency leave program; employee tests positive for coronavirus

By Marianne Wilson - 03/10/2020
walmart associate scanning items on shelves

Walmart is deploying an emergency leave program for its employees.

The nation’s largest private employer reported that one of its store associates in Cynthiana, Kentucky tested positive for the coronavirus.  The company said the associate is receiving medical care and her condition is improving. 

 Walmart also said it has put in place a new COVID-19 emergency leave policy that is designed to give employees flexibility to stay home if they are not feeling well, and pay options and support if they are affected by the virus. 

There are three separate scenarios under the new policy, including one where where an employee can choose to stay at home if he or she feels  “uncomfortable” at work.  Walmart said it will waive its attendance occurrence policy through the end of April, "but please call in as usual to let us know."   Under this scenario, in order to be paid for the time off, the employee uses their regular paid time off options.

The second scenario is when a store, distribution center or office — or an individual employee — falls under a mandated quarantine imposed by either a government agency or Walmart. In this instance, employees will receive up to two weeks of pay. Absences during this time will not count against attendance. 

The third is for an associate with a confirmed case of coronavirus. They will  receive up to two weeks of pay. If they aren't able to return to work after that time, additional pay replacement may be provided for up to 26 weeks for both full-time and part-time hourly associates. (More information on all of these options will be available on OneWalmart.)

 Walmart said it will continue to take precautions and actions to keep its stores, clubs and other facilities clean and ensure the well-being of its employees, customers and members.  The company said it is in close communication with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as other health organizations, and have plans and procedures in place.