Amazon on Wednesday announced it will donate $25 million to help its network of independent delivery drivers, Amazon Flex workers, and seasonal employees deal with disruptions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Workers diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed under quarantine will be able to apply for grants from the Amazon Relief Fund that amount to about two weeks’ pay. Outside the relief fund, Amazon is offering employees diagnosed with COVID-19 or under quarantine an additional two weeks of paid time off.
Coronavirus Live Updates: The latest COVID-19 developments in Seattle and the world of tech
The Amazon Relief Fund will also provide grants for employees and contractors around the world who “face financial hardships from other qualifying events, such as a natural disaster, federally declared emergency, or unforeseen personal hardship,” Amazon senior vice president of human resources, Beth Galetti, said in a blog post.
In addition to helping our communities and neighbors weather the economic impact of Covid-19, we're focused on mitigating financial distress faced by our full and part-time employees and other workers. https://t.co/Hk1A3GYSsa
— David Zapolsky (@DavidZapolsky) March 11, 2020
The fund is Amazon’s latest effort to mitigate the economic and social impacts of the coronavirus outbreak in Seattle and beyond. On Tuesday the company pledged to donate $5 million to small businesses around its Seattle headquarters that will be impacted by thousands of tech workers telecommuting in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Amazon and Microsoft each donated $1 million Monday to form a new coronavirus relief fund in partnership with government agencies and nonprofits in the Seattle area. Amazon and other big Seattle tech companies have also pledged to continue paying normal wages to the hourly workers who support their corporate headquarters, even if their hours are reduced.
A few hours before Amazon announced the relief fund, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee enacted a ban on events in the state with more than 250 people. Washington has more than 260 confirmed cases of the virus and more fatalities associated with it than any other state in the nation.