The following is a media release from Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s office. She was elected by voters in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to serve the state in Washington DC in the US Senate. She is a Democrat.
WASHINGTON DC – United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) sent letters to Amazon, Walmart, and McDonalds, seeking information about the steps each are taking to ensure that all employees of the companies and their franchisees, subsidiaries, contractors, and subcontractors have access to paid sick leave and adequate health and safety protections during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
The senator called on each company to adopt the paid sick leave policy laid out in the Providing Americans Insured Days of Leave Act recently introduced by Senators Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), which would provide all employees with 14 days of emergency paid leave that can be accessed immediately during this public health emergency.
“[A]s one of the largest employers in the United States, you have a responsibility in this escalating public health emergency to act to protect your workers and ensure your company’s policies are not exacerbating a pandemic,” Senator Warren wrote. “It is essential that employees have access to paid time off so that they are not penalized financially for following CDC guidance if they may be sick or seek medical care, or if they need to care for children whose school may be closed, family members who are quarantined or isolated, or if their employer is closed due to coronavirus.”
In her letters, Senator Warren urged that:
· Paid sick leave policies apply to all employees, including part-time workers, new employees, and those employed by franchisees, subsidiaries, contractors, and subcontractors;
· Sick leave policies put in place in response to the coronavirus pandemic provide flexible documentation requirements to accommodate the CDC’s recommendations for social distancing, which encourage people not to visit medical facilities in person unless they are urgently in need of care; and
· Each company take all necessary health and safety precautions to protect employees who are at work, including providing additional cleaning supplies and protective equipment, ensuring the adequate staffing levels needed to increase the frequency of cleaning, and ensuring employees working overtime to meet demand have adequate protections.
“I urge you to rise to the imperative of this public health crisis by providing universal, flexible paid leave and adequate health and safety protections for all your employees,” Senator Warren concluded, requesting that each company respond to her letter no later than March 27, 2020.