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Walmart Taking Employee Temperatures, Offering Gloves, Masks

By Daniel B. Kline - Mar 31, 2020 at 7:57AM

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The retailer wants to keep customers and workers safe.

Walmart (WMT -0.32%) has decided to take some additional steps to make sure its employees are healthy when they come to work. These moves are designed to ensure that workers who may be sick do not come into contact with customers or their fellow employees.

What is Walmart doing?

The retail giant is sending infrared thermometers to all of its stores in order to take employees' temperatures before their shifts begin. Distributing those thermometers may take as long as three weeks.

A crowded Walmart.

Walmart (seen here before the coronavirus pandemic) has taken steps to protect its workers. Image source: Walmart.

"Any associate with a temperature of 100.0 degrees will be paid for reporting to work and asked to return home and seek medical treatment if necessary," the company said in a press release. "The associate will not be able to return to work until they are fever-free for at least three days."

Walmart is offering emergency leave for any worker showing COVID-19 symptoms or anyone forced to quarantine.

The retail chain is also making masks and gloves available to employees who want them (though it will take 1-2 weeks to get those items to stores). Walmart was careful to point out that its masks will be "high-quality masks, but not N95 respirators – which should be reserved for at-risk healthcare workers."

Keeping people safe

Walmart's workers are on the front line of the global pandemic. They're working to make sure people have the food and supplies they need to make it through this crisis. Taking these steps to keep people safe makes sense. It's good for workers and for customers.

Daniel B. Kline has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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