Walmart is cutting pandemic-related paid leave in half — from two weeks to one week — after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cut isolation requirements last week for asymptomatic people with Covid and shortened the time that close contacts need to quarantine.
The big-box retailer announced the policy change in a memo sent to employees on Tuesday, which was obtained on Wednesday by CNBC.
In the memo, the big-box retailer said that through March 31 it will provide paid time off for employees who are mandated to quarantine by a health care provider, government or Walmart or if they fail a health screening or test positive for Covid. It said employees who qualify will be paid for one week.
A company spokesperson said employees qualify for the paid leave regardless of vaccination status.
Walmart and other retailers are navigating a complex backdrop, as Covid cases surge across the country — leading to a variety of challenges, including having more employees out sick or scrambling for child care. That has exacerbated staffing shortages at some retailers and restaurants, inspiring shortened hours or temporary closures.
Walmart temporarily shut nearly 60 U.S. stores last month, which were located in coronavirus hotspots. Macy’s said this week that it would reduce hours this month across all of its stores for the rest of January. And others, including Apple and Starbucks, shuttered some locations.
This story is developing and will be updated.