New COVID-19 Policy to Support the Health of Our Associates

Editor’s note: We continue to provide resources that allow our associates to adapt to changing needs resulting from COVID-19. For example, as of August 2020, our COVID-19 Emergency Leave Policy has been extended through January 31, 2021. You can find the most up-to-date information here. Beginning July 20, we are also requiring all shoppers to wear face coverings.

March 10, 2020

New COVID-19 Policy to Support the Health of Our Associates

To: All U.S. associates
From: John Furner, President and Chief Executive Officer – Walmart U.S., Kath McLay, President and Chief Executive Officer – Sam’s Club and Donna Morris, Executive Vice President, Chief People Officer – Walmart

Thank you for all you’re doing to serve customers and members during this challenging time, as the U.S. deals with COVID-19 (coronavirus). We know how busy you are, and greatly appreciate what you’re doing for your communities.

As you know from previous notes, we are responding to the developing situation and planning for what may occur in the coming weeks and months. We wanted to share an update that a Walmart associate at our store in Cynthiana, Kentucky, has tested positive for COVID-19. The associate is receiving medical care, and her condition is improving. We wish her a speedy recovery. After learning of this case, we consulted with state and local health experts, reinforced our cleaning and sanitizing protocol, and, with the support and encouragement of the state government, the store remains open.

As more cases are likely to occur, we’ll continue to take precautions and actions to keep our stores, clubs and other facilities clean and ensure the well-being of our associates, customers and members, following the protocols from our own health experts and relevant federal and state agencies. We are in close communication with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as other health organizations, and have plans and procedures in place.

Your health is our priority, and, as we’ve said before, we want any associate who is not feeling well to stay home. So, we have created a COVID-19 emergency leave policy, which is effective immediately, to ensure you have the support you need. Let us describe three different circumstances:

  • During this uncertain time, if you determine you are unable to work or are uncomfortable at work, you can choose to stay home. To ensure you feel supported making this choice, we will waive our attendance occurrence policy through the end of April, but please call in as usual to let us know. In order to be paid for this time, you may use your regular paid time off options.
  • If your store, club, office or distribution center is part of a mandated quarantine or if you’re required to quarantine by a government agency or by Walmart, you will receive up to two weeks of pay, and absences during the time you are out will not count against attendance. We’ve chosen two weeks because it matches the recommended time for quarantines related to this virus.
  • Should an associate have a confirmed case of the virus, they’ll receive up to two weeks of pay. If they’re not able to return to work after that time, additional pay replacement may be provided for up to 26 weeks for both full-time and part-time hourly associates.

We are also pleased that, in response to COVID-19, the Walmart Associates in Critical Need Trust, an independent charitable trust (ACNT), temporarily waived the eligibility requirement that U.S. associates be employed with Walmart for 365 days before they can apply for a grant.

More information on all of these options will be available on OneWalmart.

We will continue to monitor this situation closely with the support of our Emergency Operations Center and health officials. Know that we will continue to take any and all measures necessary to ensure the well-being of our associates, customers and members.

Again, thank you for all you are doing during this difficult time.