Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our teams have shown great flexibility and perseverance while delivering an exceptional customer experience in a safe environment. And although the country continues to make significant progress in rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine, we recognize that the next few months are critical. We also know that as testing is more readily available in many parts across the country, it plays a key role in defeating COVID-19.
That’s one reason why we’re rolling out a nationwide COVID-19 testing program for all Best Buy employees who aren’t usually working from home. It gives them the opportunity to request a free COVID-19 test kit if they are experiencing any symptoms or have learned of recent exposure, and we’ll continue to pay them while they quarantine and await the results.
How the COVID-19 testing program works
We launched our mandatory employee health screening process in March 2020. Before each shift, all Best Buy workers not working from home are required to complete the health screening no more than three hours before reporting to work.
The health screening asks questions related to potential COVID-19 symptoms and exposure. If an employee fails the screening, they are instructed to quarantine at home, and with the rollout of this new program, will now have the option to request a free COVID-19 test. While the employee waits for the test kit and results, they will receive a week’s pay based on their average hours worked from the previous six weeks.
If the results from this test come back negative, the employee is immediately eligible to return to work.
If the test results come back positive, the employee will isolate and recover at home. They will receive an additional average week’s pay, again based on the employee’s average hours worked from the previous six weeks before failing the screening.
Vaccine reward and sick time for side effects
In addition to the COVID-19 testing program, we recently announced that Best Buy is providing paid time off as a thank you to any employee who gets fully vaccinated. Part-time hourly employees will get four hours of PTO to use how they wish, and full-time employees will receive eight hours.
While we are not requiring employees to be vaccinated, we believe it is an important step in the fight against the virus. By offering PTO as an incentive to employees, we hope to encourage them, once eligible and if able, to receive the vaccine.
Employees who receive the vaccine and experience apparent side effects will receive sick time of up to four hours if part-time and eight hours if full-time. Our health screening process has also been modified for employees who recently received the vaccine and experience side effects. These employees do not have to quarantine for the full 10 days if their side effects timely resolve.
With the forward momentum of the vaccine rollout across the country, along with the impact of COVID-19 variants, we encourage our employees and customer to follow the CDC website for the latest updates and know when they are eligible for vaccination.
Click here for more information about our how we’re working to provide a safe experience for our employees and customers