Amazon.com will let corporate employees work from home through June 2021, the latest company to push back reopening offices as COVID-19 cases surge again across the U.S.
“We continue to prioritize the health of our employees and follow local government guidance,” an Amazon spokesperson said in an email. “Employees who work in a role that can effectively be done from home are welcome to do so until June 30, 2021.”
In July, the company told its tens of thousands of headquarters employees in Seattle they could work from home until January. Uncertainty around school reopenings — and abrupt closures tied to coronavirus outbreaks — has complicated the return to work for parents of school-aged children.
Alphabet’s Google announced several months ago that it will continue letting employees work from home until July 2021. Facebook, Twitter and Square are among the technology companies that have told some staff members they may move to remote work permanently if they choose.
Amazon “has invested significant funds and resources to keep those who choose to come to the office safe through physical distancing, deep cleaning, temperature checks, and by providing face coverings and hand sanitizer,” the spokesperson said.
Amazon’s largely blue-collar warehouse employees have continued working at the e-commerce company’s facilities around the country, prompting concerns about safety and stirring labor strife within the company.
In downtown Seattle, where Amazon is the largest employer, the newly extended work-from-home regime will send new shock waves through the central business district’s struggling stores and restaurants.
Information from Seattle Times staff is included in this report.
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