Amazon told employees in New York and New Jersey that they should work from home for the month of March if they can, CNBC reports. The internet giant’s Audible audiobook division is located in Newark, New Jersey, and it has thousands of employees in New York City.
“We continue to work closely with public and private medical experts to ensure we are taking the right precautions as the situation continues to evolve,” an Amazon spokesperson told CNBC. “This includes recommending that employees who are able to work from home in Seattle/Bellevue, the Bay Area, New York, New Jersey and the Lombardy region/Asti province of Italy do so through the end of March.”
Amazon told its warehouse workers and other employees late on Sunday that the company won’t count unpaid time off that employees take during March.
On Monday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio urged city residents to work from home if possible. “For a business that can allow more employees to telecommute, we want you to do that,” he told reporters at a press conference. “We simply want to reduce the number of people on mass transit just to open up some more space.” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency on Saturday as the number of coronavirus cases in the state continued to rise.
Last week, Amazon joined other tech giants with operations in Seattle, telling employees there to work from home until the end of March. Amazon confirmed on March 2nd that one of its Seattle-based employees was quarantined with the novel coronavirus. The company already restricted all nonessential domestic travel in response to the outbreak.
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