She was experiencing shortness of breath and worried that her weak immune system, asthma and COPD, a lung disease, would put her at risk if she returned to work. Amazon has said it will provide up to two weeks of paid sick leave for all full- and part-time employees who show symptoms, have the virus or are in quarantine.
Employees who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are in quarantine may be eligible for additional paid time off beyond the two weeks, the spokesperson said. They added that the company is “working with employees to gather the information we need to approve” extra paid sick time.
Additionally, the spokesperson said Amazon will provide employees who are sent home with a fever with up to five hours of pay. The company announced the policy earlier this week, after BuzzFeed reported that some employees with fevers were being sent home without pay.
The conflicting accounts of employees who are in quarantine could be a symptom of Amazon's vast network of warehouses across the country. Since the pandemic unfolded several months ago, each Amazon warehouse has responded differently to the crisis.
Amazon employees at multiple facilities previously told CNBC they didn't feel safe coming to work, as they encountered shortages of face masks, sanitizer and disinfectant wipes. Still, workers at other facilities said they had plenty of protective gear and felt site leadership was doing their best to keep employees safe.
It has also started taking employees' temperatures when they report to work and supplied them with face masks. For warehouse workers who struggle to get the pay they need, they are faced with few options beyond relying on savings or applying for unemployment.
Amazon workers, along with many employees around the country, can now stay home from work longer as a result of the CARES Act, which was signed into law March 27. Guidelines from the Labor Department state that workers don't need to quit their jobs in order to apply for unemployment.
A worker at a facility in Michigan said she recently applied for unemployment after she didn't receive a paycheck from Amazon. Sharlene said she's been working with her site's human resources department for the past three weeks to try to get the pay owed to her in quarantine, but to no avail.
She said she applied for unemployment on Tuesday after she grew frustrated with the delays and came close to running out of money. Two Amazon warehouse workers, both of whom asked to remain anonymous, had different experiences while they were on paid sick leave, despite the fact that they both live in the same state of Kentucky.
Barbara Chandler, a process assistant at JFK8 in Staten Island, has been in isolation since March 25, when she was informed she had tested positive for the virus. Chandler reported to Chris Smalls, the Amazon worker who was fired after he organized a protest at JFK8.
Chandler said Amazon told her she would receive her full wages while she's home sick. She said she hopes she will get paid the full amount in her next paycheck, but she's preparing for the possibility that she won't.
Amazon said it would provide workers with up to two weeks of paid sick leave if they tested positive or are in quarantine due to the coronavirus. But five Amazon workers told CNBC they've received no pay or were given 60% of their typical weekly paycheck, despite meeting the requirements for paid sick leave.