Associates are the heart of our company, and their efforts to serve our customers and members throughout the pandemic have been truly amazing. As they continue to focus on making the holidays merry and bright for customers during this busy season, we are keeping a close eye on emerging COVID-19 variants.
The health and safety of our people remain our biggest priorities and we continue to focus on enabling access to vaccines, providing safeguards within facilities, and supporting associate well-being.
Access to vaccines
Vaccines are safe, effective and the best solution for fighting the coronavirus and its variants. We continue encouraging all U.S. associates to do their part to protect themselves, their families and their loved ones by becoming vaccinated.
We’re pleased that more than 90% of our campus office associates have been fully vaccinated. While vaccines are not required at this time for frontline associates who work in our stores, clubs and supply chain facilities, we are paying them to roll up their sleeves. We recently reintroduced our vaccine incentive* for frontline associates to provide $150 after an associate becomes fully vaccinated.
To make the decision even easier, we’re making sure they can take the time needed to step away from work to get their shots. Vaccines, booster shots and pediatric vaccines are available at each of our more than 5,100 Sam’s Club and Walmart pharmacies in the U.S. through prescheduled or walk-up appointments. Associates can become vaccinated while on the clock or receive two hours (one hour per dose) of paid time off to do so. If they prefer to go elsewhere, that’s okay — there are many other locations that offer vaccinations as well. Associates who have an adverse reaction to COVID-19 vaccines are provided up to three days of paid leave per dose.
Safeguarding people within facilities
Our stores, clubs and supply chain facilities are especially busy this time of year, and we continue to take precautions to reduce the spread of infection and keep our associates safe. We require associates to wear masks in areas where transmission rates are high or substantial.
In addition, all associates are required to complete a daily health screening before entering a building. Also, plastic shields remain in place at registers and pharmacies, and an enhanced sanitizer station is located at the entrance of all stores and clubs.
While vaccinations and safety measures help slow the spread of infection, we know associates can still get sick.
To support associates, several resources are available.
- Our COVID-leave policy, which was implemented in March 2020 to support associates during the pandemic, remains in place and has been extended through March 31, 2022. The policy provides up to two weeks of paid time off if an associate contracts COVID-19, if a facility is part of a mandated quarantine or if an associate is required to quarantine by a health care provider, government agency or Walmart. This is in addition to our standard PTO options.
- We’re continuing to waive the co-pay for medical and therapy services through Doctor On Demand’s virtual doctor visits for associates on a Walmart medical plan.
- We’re also providing 10 no-cost counseling sessions through Resources for Living for all U.S. associates and their household members, including dependents up to age 26.
We’ll continue to follow emerging variants closely and make adjustments as needed to prioritize the health, safety and the well-being of our associates.
*Subject to local or state requirements