Trader Joe's Gives Workers More Paid Sick Time for Coronavirus

March 6, 2020

The grocery chain Trader Joe's is changing its sick policy so that if employees experience symptoms of coronavirus, they can stay home with sick paid leave. Business Insider reports that the chain is telling workers not to come back to work until they've been symptom-free for 24 hours. The policy change assumes that employees are more likely to stay home if they will still receive pay, and that could prevent the spread of coronavirus to other workers or the public. "Since we want to reinforce this guideline, through April 15, your Captain [manager> has discretion to approve a reimbursement of AR [absence reserve/paid sick leave> for Crew Members who are unable to work due to respiratory illness," a memo says. Workers who are out more than a week will then have their cases examined by the HR department. If a worker has symptoms, they are to tell a Captain (manager) right away. However, there is some concern that the paid leave is up to a manager. It's unclear whether new employees or part-time workers who don't qualify for company health insurance will benefit from the new change in policy.