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March 11, 2020

Walmart Establishes Emergency Leave Policy After Worker Tests Positive for virus

SN: "Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer and employer of 1.4 million hourly workers, on Tuesday announced its first incident of a store associate testing positive for the coronavirus. The employee, who works at a Walmart store in Cynthiana, Ky., was the first to test positive in the state of Kentucky and is receiving medical care and her condition is improving, according to an internal company memo. As of Tuesday afternoon, six cases of the virus have been diagnosed in Kentucky. In a statement, the Bentonville, Ark.-based operator of more than 5,000 stores in the United States said it has “reinforced our cleaning and sanitizing protocol, and, with the support and encouragement of the state government, the [Kentucky] store remains open.” Walmart also announced that it is deploying an emergency employee leave program, saying that associates will receive up to two weeks pay if they have to be quarantined or are diagnosed with the illness. If store, warehouse club or distribution center employees are not able to return to work after two weeks, up to 26 weeks of additional pay could be provided for both full- and part-time workers. The policy covers both Walmart and Sam's Club workers no matter when they were hired, according to the company.In addition, Walmart will allow employees to stay home if they are unable to work or feel “uncomfortable” at work, by waiving its attendance policy through the end of April. While the normal attendance policy will not be enforced in this circumstance, in order to have the leave paid, associates must use their regular paid time-off options"...

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