Market Overview

Amazon Launches $25M Relief Fund For Workers Diagnosed With Coronavirus, Hit By Other Tragedies

Amazon Launches $25M Relief Fund For Workers Diagnosed With Coronavirus, Hit By Other Tragedies Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) on Wednesday announced that it had created a relief fund for employees who contract the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

What Happened

Both full-time employees and contractors diagnosed with the virus or quarantined by authorities would be able to tap on the "Amazon Relief Fund," launched with an initial seed funding of $25 million.

Each individual can receive a personal grant between $400 to $5,000, equivalent to their pay for two weeks.

"The health and safety of our employees and contractors around the world continues to be our top priority as we face the challenges associated with COVID-19," Amazon senior vice-president of human resources Beth Galati said in a statement.

"Leaders across Amazon are meeting every day to consider the evolving situation and are consulting with medical experts to ensure we are doing all we can to keep our teams healthy."

The relief fund would be expanded to support workers who "face financial hardships from other qualifying events, such as a natural disaster, federally declared emergency, or unforeseen personal hardship," according to Galati.

Why It Matters

Amazon has announced a series of measures since one of its employees was diagnosed with the coronavirus in Seattle.

The e-commerce behemoth asked all its employees in Seattle offices to work from home if able.

Amazon said it would pay all hourly-workers the same wage they would get for regular working hours even if they are needed for a shorter time during the outbreak, and also lifted limits on unpaid leaves through March.

The Seattle-based company on Tuesday announced a $5 million fund for small businesses around its offices in the city, which are financially impacted by the coronavirus spread.

Price Action

Amazon's shares closed 3.75% lower at $1,820.86 on Wednesday and traded mostly unchanged in the after-hours session.


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