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Amazon Limits Paid COVID Leave to Employees Vaccinated Against COVID

Victor resides in the Netherlands and writes about freedom and governmental and social changes to the democratic form of nations.
Published: February 12, 2022
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An Amazon worker is injected with the experimental COVID-19 vaccine by a member of the nursing staff inside the Amazon headquarters in Italy last year as part of Amazon’s ongoing campaign pressuring its employees to get vaccinated. On Feb. 10 the online sales company announced only vaccinated employees are eligible to enjoy a paid-COVID-19 sick leave. (Image: STEFANO GUIDI/Getty Images)

Amazon denies its vaccine-free employees enjoying paid leave after receiving a positive PCR-test result while — unlike their vaccinated colleagues — they will still be forced to wear masks at work.

The notification came amidst a trend among larger companies to maintain their inoculation policies despite a supreme court overruling Biden’s national vaccination mandate for companies over 100 workers in January.

The new regulations were communicated in an internal memo on Feb. 9 and come amidst thaw in restrictive COVID-19 rules across the country and worldwide now that the so-called omicron variant turns out to be not as lethal as was proclaimed.

“There has been a sharp decline in COVID-19 cases across the country over the past weeks. Along with increasing vaccination rates across the country, this is a positive sign we can return to the path to normal operations,” the notice obtained by Business Insider read.

Lukewarm responses

The announcement invoked quite a few cynical remarks on social media. One Twitter user remarked: 

“So you’ll need to be vaccinated against Covid-19 …in order to get paid sick leave when you develop Covid-19! The logic of @amazon is irrefutable.”

Path to normal — vaccinated only

But the path to normal can only be walked by vaccinated employees. Fully vaccinated employees were allowed to drop their masks on Feb. 11, after the mandate had been instated two months ago.

Meanwhile, the paid leave ban for vaccine refuseniks will take effect on March 18 after the e-commerce giant had already cropped the maximum COVID-leave duration from ten to seven days following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.

However, the company assured, workers who were exempted from the vaccination mandate on religious or medical grounds were still qualified for a paid sick leave after contracting the disease, International Business Times reported.

The easing in regulations may be related to the upcoming spring when the seasonal flu virus normally packs its bags to leave for colder areas. 

This week, new cases and hospitalizations have decreased dramatically, Johns Hopkins University also affirmed.

Flip-flopping through the pandemic

Many Democratic governors like those of California, Delaware, and Oregon have announced measures to roll back mask mandates. 

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Last year, only the state of New York sued the online vendor for not taking its personnel’s safety seriously by not forcing a mandate on its workers, amongst other directives.

“While Amazon and its CEO made billions during this crisis, hardworking employees were forced to endure unsafe conditions and were retaliated against for rightfully voicing these concerns,” New York Attorney General Letitia James wrote in a statement at that time, according to Breitbart.

“Since the pandemic began, it is clear that Amazon has valued profit over people and has failed to ensure the health and safety of its workers,” it added.