Amazon said that nearly 20,000 of its front-line U.S workers have tested positive or been presumed positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. But the online retail behemoth said that the infection rate of its employees was well below that seen in the general U.S population.
They have said it compared the COVID-19 case rates to the general population as reported by Johns Hopkins University for the same period. Based on that analysis, Amazon’s actual rate is 42% higher.
Companies have no legal obligation to publicly reveal how many of their workers have contracted the virus, and few are doing so. Employers do have to provide a safe working environment, which means they must alert staff if they might have been exposed to the virus, according to guidelines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
A perceived lack of transparency has left workers at various retailers, including Amazon and Walmart, to become amateur sleuths in their spare time. Unions and advocate groups have taken up the cause too, creating lists or building online maps of stores where workers can self-report cases they know about.
UFCW is calling for immediate action by federal regulators and a full congressional investigation.
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