Major companies are making big changes to their sick leave policies amid coronavirus spread

Tim O'Donnell

The spread of the novel coronavirus has prompted several major U.S. companies to re-think their sick policies.

Walmart, which had an employee in Kentucky test positive for the virus, will not penalize hourly workers who call in sick, and any employees who are diagnosed with COVID-19 or are placed in quarantine will receive two weeks of pay that won't come out of their normal paid leave. Uber is also providing two weeks worth of pay to any drivers or delivery workers who have tested positive or are isolated, while Lyft said it would compensate its drivers, as well, though the company did not elaborate.

Apple, meanwhile, is set to provide unlimited paid leave to any hourly employees who show cold or flu symptoms similar to COVID-19 even if they're not formally diagnosed, and, like Google, is encouraging its corporate employees to work from home for a while.

As for Darden Restaurants, the parent company of several chains including Olive Garden, the new coronavirus apparently sped up already-in-motion plans to reshape their benefits. Employees will now receive up to 40 hours of paid sick leave annually. Read more at The Washington Post and Business Insider.

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