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Coronavirus Case Leads Walmart to Implement New Emergency Leave Policies

By Rich Duprey - Mar 10, 2020 at 3:21PM

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The initiative comes as an employee tested positive at one of its Kentucky stores.

After a Walmart (WMT 0.71%) employee in Kentucky tested positive for the coronavirus, the retail giant implemented new emergency leave policies to support workers coping with the outbreak.

Walmart implemented three separate initiatives to cover various scenarios an employee might encounter:

  • The company attendance policy will be waived through the end of April to allow employees to stay home if they are unable to work or feel "uncomfortable" working. To have paid leave, however, the employee must use their regular paid time-off options.
  • If the government or Walmart imposes a quarantine on a store, club, office, or distribution center, employees will receive up to two weeks of pay with absences not counted toward attendance.
  • If an employee contracts COVID-19, they will receive two weeks of pay, which may be extended up to 26 weeks, and covers both full- and part-time workers.
A Walmart storefront.

Image source: Walmart.

CNBC reports the Kentucky store remains open and has reinforced its cleaning and sanitizing protocols. The employee who was infected is reportedly responding well to medical care.

The retailer also reiterated it will continue to "take any and all measures necessary to ensure the well-being of our associates, customers, and members."

The are over 5,350 stores in the U.S. in Walmart's portfolio, covering its supercenters, small format stores, and Sam's Clubs. It also operates more than 150 U.S. distribution centers.


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