Walmart cuts paid leave for COVID in half after new CDC guidelines

Walmart has become one of the first major employers to cut its paid COVID leave for employees. It comes after the CDC updated its isolation guidelines. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

(NEXSTAR) – Walmart employees will have less paid time off after testing positive for COVID-19 under a new company policy.

According to a memo shared with Nexstar, employees who test positive for the virus or who need to self-isolate will receive one week of paid leave instead of the previous two weeks set by the retailer at the start of the pandemic. This applies to hourly employees and long-haul drivers in the United States, reports Reuters.

Last month, Walmart announced it would extend its paid sick leave policy by two weeks through the end of March 2022. But according to the memo, the change reflects updated recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention saying people should self-isolate for five days, instead of 10, after testing positive for COVID.

Workers who cannot work past the week off with pay may be eligible for “additional wage replacement” for up to 26 weeks, the Walmart memo says.

In March 2020, Walmart expanded its sick leave policies due to COVID-19.

Walmart is now among the first major retailers to cut paid vacations for COVID-19, according to Reuters. This comes as COVID-19 cases continue to rise nationwide. Nearly 718,000 COVID cases were reported Tuesday, according to the CDC. Omicron is currently the culprit in more than 90% of cases in the United States, up from less than 10% two weeks ago.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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