Amazon Enforces Sweeping New Measures

Amazon Enforces Sweeping New Measures
Whole Foods Market employees will start getting temperature checks when reporting to work within the next week

Amazon has made more than 150 significant process changes to ensure the health and safety of its teams during the COVID-19 crisis, and its latest protocols could have some of the largest impact.

Amazon workers at select sites around the United States have been having their temperatures checked before reporting to work since Sunday, March 29. By early next week, this measure will be extended to all of the hundreds of thousands of Amazon and Whole Foods Market store employees reporting to work in a given day. 

Anyone registering a temperature higher than 100.4 degrees will be sent home, able to return once they have not had a fever for 72 hours. 

"If someone is diagnosed or comes to us who is presumptively diagnosed (but unable to get a test), we are giving them extra paid time off," wrote Dave Clark, SVP of worldwide operations at Seattle-based Amazon, in a blog post. "In addition, we are also contacting people who have been in close contact with a diagnosed individual and giving them time off as well, for 14 days, to stay home with pay. We continue to evaluate all options to ensure the support of our teams during this unprecedented time."

Amazon said that it has ordered millions of masks that are starting to arrive and get distributed. The N-95 masks coming in will be donated to health care workers or made available through Amazon Business to health care and government organizations at no cost. Additionally, disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer are standard across Amazon's network. 

However, some Amazon and Whole Foods employees, contending that the company isn't doing enough, staged various protests earlier this week. At least 17 Amazon locations have reported at least one case of COVID-19.

To keep up with ever-increasing demand, Amazon has hired more than 80,000 of the 100,000 new workers it plans to employ, and has invested additional funds to support its employees and partners. 

"We expect to go well beyond our initial $350 million investment in additional pay, and we will do so happily," Clark said. 

Amazon, under its Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods Market banner, is No. 10 on Progressive Grocer’s 2019 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.

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