Workers in at least eight Amazon warehouses across the country have tested positive for coronavirus, just as the e-commerce giant ramps up hiring to meet surging online sales.
In recent days, warehouse workers at two separate sites in New York City, in Staten Island and Queens, in addition to employees at warehouses in Jacksonville, Fla., Oklahoma City, Brownstown, Mich., Katy, Tex., Wallingford, Conn. and Shepherdsville, Ky., have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, according to media reports and Amazon officials.
In response, Amazon temporarily closed down facilities in some cases in order for the centers to be sanitized.
Amazon has announced it plans to hire 100,000 new workers for warehouses and delivery services in order to meet the rise in orders to the company’s fulfillment centers, as millions of Americans obey orders to stay indoors and turn increasingly to online shopping.
Hundreds of workers have signed a petition saying they do not think Amazon has done enough to ensure they are protected during the coronavirus-fueled boom for the company. The workers demanded hazard pay, paid sick leave and child care.
Among other demands, the workers asked that Amazon extend paid sick leave part-time and seasonal delivery employees.
Amazon says employees diagnosed with COVID-19 or quarantined will have two weeks of pay in addition to unlimited unpaid leave through the end of March, as previously announced.