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Amazon Starts Checking Workers' Temperatures at Some Warehouses

By Daniel B. Kline - Mar 31, 2020 at 2:41PM

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Employees have harshly criticized the e-commerce giant for not doing enough to protect them from exposure to the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Amazon (AMZN 1.12%) has started checking the temperatures of workers coming into its Seattle and New York warehouses, Geekwire reports. Walmart (WMT 5.11%) plans to do the same thing in its stores, though it acknowledges that it will take some time to get the needed infrared thermometers distributed.

Both companies are attempting to balance the requirements of meeting intense customer demand during the coronavirus pandemic and keeping their employees as safe as possible from the illness. Already, workers in roughly a dozen Amazon distribution centers have tested positive for COVID-19.

A woman works in an Amazon warehouse.

Amazon plans to hire 100,000 more workers. Image source: Amazon.

Take every precaution

Amazon has been trying to address the issues that are concerning its workers when it comes to their safety, but it has still been hit by work stoppages, and there are threats of more. The company is also hiring in the midst of trying to hire 100,000 new employees to help meet its surging demand.

"We have adjusted our practices within our buildings through physical, virtual, and new formats for internal communications. With guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO), we've implemented a series of preventative health measures at our sites around the world to help keep our employees, partners, and customers safe," the company posted on its blog.

Both Amazon and Walmart have stepped up their cleaning and sanitizing efforts in all of their locations, and are adjusting workflows to allow for more social distancing.

Temperature checks should help the company identify those workers who should be sent home. Amazon and Walmart are both paying wages to those employees who can't work due to coronavirus.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Daniel B. Kline has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon and recommends the following options: short January 2022 $1940 calls on Amazon and long January 2022 $1920 calls on Amazon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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