Report: Amazon asks workers to stay home if possible

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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An e-tail giant is reportedly instituting a global work-from-home policy in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

According to CNBC, Amazon has issued a worldwide memo to all of its employees requesting that they work from home through the end of March if their jobs permit. Within the last few weeks, Amazon has asked employees at its New York, New Jersey, Bay Area, and Seattle-area facilities to work at home through the end of March if they can. So far, an Amazon employee in Seattle has tested positive for COVID-19.

“We continue to work closely with public and private medical experts to ensure we are taking the right precautions as the situation continues to evolve,” an Amazon spokesperson told CNBC in a statement. “As a result, we are now recommending that all of our employees globally who are able to work from home do so through the end of March.”

Amazon has recently taken a number of steps to help prevent the spread of coronavirus among its employees and contractors. These include expanding sick leave to let all Amazon employees diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed into quarantine receive up to two weeks of pay, and establishing an Amazon Relief Fund focused on supporting independent delivery service partners and their drivers, Amazon Flex participants, and seasonal employees.

In addition, the e-tailer also recently launched a $5 million Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund to provide cash grants to small businesses in Seattle that need assistance dealing with the impact of COVID-19. The company will also subsidy a full month of rent for tenants in the buildings it owns, and is continuing to pay all hourly staff who work for the service providers that support its offices in Seattle and Bellevue, Wash., during the time the company has recommended its employees work from home.