Amazon has reduced paid leave for their employees in the U.S. who have contracted Covid-19 or need ten days to forty hours of quarantine. One of the biggest private employers cut paid leave by following the new guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control (Kim). I have several perspectives on the shortening of the length of paid Covid sick leave by employers. On the one hand, I think that this decision is justified by the organization, but on the other hand, I think that it is unfair in relation to the employees.
In order to understand why Amazon might have decided to shorten the paid Covid sick leave, it is important to look at the situation from the perspective of the organization’s profits and costs. The pandemic has negatively influenced small and big businesses in many ways. The coronavirus pandemic devastated the global economy, brought industries to a complete standstill, spurred mass layoffs, and, in the case of retail, accelerated the slow-moving demise of already ailing department store chains. Considering the fast-growing number of infected people, it would cost the organization a lot to provide a long paid sick leave for each infected employee. However, if to look at the situation from the perspective of workers, it is unfair to cut their paid sick leave. People do not intentionally get infected with the virus and, unfortunately, cannot influence the situation in the world and the spread of the virus. Because of the virus, people are forced to take sick leaves, and if the sick leaves are unpaid, they will be cut in income.
I think that it is an ethical and moral question for the organization whether to cut the paid sick leave or not. An organization should either put its financial status or its employees first. I can not say that Amazon did wrong or immoral by shortening the paid sick leave because they have followed new CDC quarantine guidelines. However, Amazon showed that it cares more about its costs and profits rather than the situation of its employees. Amazon is one of the largest private employers in the USA, and their decision could influence the decisions of the large organization and, thus, the safety of thousands of people. Hence, I do not support Amazon in their choice to use new CDC guidelines in favor of personal interests.
Centers for Disease Control reduced the recommended period for isolation twice for workers who had positive test results for Covid-19. Employees of Amazon are not obliged to provide negative test results before returning to work, and CDC did not make any recommendation that is advising people to do a Covid test after five days (Kim). I think that the new guidelines provided by CDC are irresponsible and do not make sense. Today, when the coronavirus is growing and spreading rapidly all over the world, it is crucial to maintain safety conditions at the workplace in order to not facilitate the outbreak of the virus. CDC’s new guidelines, in contrast, put other employees under threat since it is not guaranteed that people who had coronavirus and now returning to work are recovered and will not infect others. In addition, I think that the U.S. government should also take responsibility and contribute to the situation of sick leave. State regulations should be managed in order to create the best possible conditions for private organizations and employees.
Kim, L. 2022. “Amazon Shortens Paid Leave For U.S. Workers With Covid After CDC Changes Guidance.” Forbes, Web.