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Amazon tells employees to work from home if they can. Warehouse workers can’t

March 12, 2020, 11:45 PM UTC

Amid concerns over the coronavirus outbreak, Amazon has asked employees to work from home if their jobs allow it—a policy that excludes warehouse workers and drivers.

The online retailing giant revealed its updated work-from-home guidance on Thursday. Previously, the company had only asked employees who worked in certain offices, including in Seattle and the San Francisco Bay Area, to stay home.

The revised policy does not apply to most warehouse workers or delivery drivers who are unable to do their jobs remotely.

“We continue to work closely with public and private medical experts to ensure we are taking the right precautions as the situation continues to evolve,” an Amazon spokesperson said in an email.  “As a result, we are now recommending that all of our employees globally who are able to work from home do so through the end of March.”

Other big tech companies that have implemented work-from-home policies include Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Salesforce. However, they don’t have large retail operations that require warehouses that are staffed around the clock.

Amazon also said on Wednesday in a blog post that any employee “diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed into quarantine will receive up to two-weeks of pay.” Hourly employees who are sick but not diagnosed with the virus are eligible for unpaid time off through the end of March.

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