Amazon is disciplining warehouse workers who do not stand at least six feet away from their colleagues to prevent spreading coronavirus.
Under a new company policy, workers who do not follow social distancing guidelines will get a warning after the first violation. If they break the rule a second time, they could get fired.
"We've had some instances of employees intentionally violating our clear guidelines on social distancing at our sites, which endangers both the individual and their colleagues," an Amazon spokesperson told CNBC. "We are taking intense measures to ensure the health and safety of employees across our sites who are performing an essential role for their communities during this crisis."
Since some of the Amazon fulfillment centers are as big as 26 football fields, enforcing the new social distancing rules could be difficult.
Dave Clark, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations at Amazon, wrote in a blog post the company would use "top machine learning technologists" to pinpoint areas to enhance social distancing practices.
A worker at a facility in Illinois said they appreciated Amazon's efforts to make sure employees are following social distancing rules. The person said their facility has put tape down on the floor to advise workers on where they can stand safely, as well as reconfigured the cafeterias so that workers don’t sit next to each other, among other steps.
One worker at an Illinois warehouse said managers at their facility have placed tape on the floor to indicate where employees can safely stand. But they still worry about the risk of getting infected.
"We do not feel safe in our building anymore. I'm frustrated with it," the worker said. "If they're having to go to all these great lengths to keep us safe, I feel like they need to shut down the building for two weeks so they can actually get cleaned."
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