News Release

Amazon Terminated Paid Sick Leave for Covid-19 After Union Vote

Just one day after union voting ended at Amazon’s LDJ5 warehouse in Staten Island––the second Staten Island warehouse to hold a recent vote––the company announced it will end its nationwide Covid-19 paid sick leave policy, Common Dreams reported in early May. Employees who test positive for the virus will no longer get a week of paid time off.

Labor reporters and activists believe Amazon waited to make the announcement until after the vote. Just a few days later, Amazon fired several senior managers involved with the first unionized warehouse in the country. The New York Times has reported that some current and former employees saw the firings, “which occurred outside the company’s typical employee review cycle… as a response to the victory by the Amazon Labor Union.” 

EILEEN APPELBAUM, appelbaum@cepr.net , @EileenAppelbaum
    Appelbaum is the co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. 

Appelbaum told the Institute for Public Accuracy today: “Amazon’s move on paid sick leave points out the importance of a national paid leave policy for employees. Many lack even one paid sick day, and even those that have paid sick days can have the rug pulled out from under them at the whim of their employers. The highly contagious nature of the Omicron variants means workers have an urgent need right now for paid time off if they get sick. At a minimum, Congress should reinstate the emergency paid sick days program for workers sick with Covid.”