Many retail companies in the U.S. have begun to acknowledge the importance of bereavement leave for employees, allowing them time off to grieve and attend to funerals and other arrangements.
So if you work at Amazon or are applying for a job at this leading online retailer, you may be wondering – what is Amazon’s bereavement leave policy for employees? Here is what I’ve found out about this!
Amazon Bereavement Policy
Amazon provides three days of paid bereavement leave upon the death of employees’ immediate family members. Both part-time and full-time staff qualify for this benefit. However, Amazon subsidiaries like Whole Foods maintain different policies. The amount of leave differs in states that legally require more time off.
If you want to learn more about which workers are eligible for paid bereavement leave at Amazon, how you can apply for bereavement leave, and much more, keep on reading!
Does Amazon Ask For Proof Of Bereavement?
The internet retailer doesn’t appear to have published an official policy regarding documentation.
However, based on different anecdotes, some employees have been asked to provide their managers with proof.
If a supervisor requests you for documentation, consider using a death certificate or obituary to confirm that a family member has passed away.
Is Amazon Bereavement Automatically Approved?
Normally, a manager needs to manually approve the absence before you can take paid time off.
Note that a supervisor could reject your request if the company doesn’t consider your relative to be an immediate family member.
Similarly, you can’t claim bereavement leave when a close friend or other non-relative passes away.
Can I Take Bereavement Leave For A Pet At Amazon?
While it can be very difficult to lose a cat or dog who has shared your home for many years, Amazon does not provide bereavement leave in this situation.
In fact, this benefit remains comparatively rare, with ABC News reporting that only a few employers like Mars Inc. and Kimpton Hotels, along with certain pet stores such as Petco, offer pet bereavement leave.
Do I Qualify For Amazon Bereavement Leave?
Generally, all part-time and full-time employees are eligible for bereavement leave at Amazon.
You probably qualify for leave even if you don’t typically receive paid time off from Amazon, so make sure you ask your manager in case you need time off due to a bereavement in your family.
However, note that the company’s independent contractors normally don’t have benefits and may not be able to claim bereavement leave.
Will Amazon Fire Me For Negative UPT?
If you need more than three days to grieve, you can use any available unpaid time off (UPT).
However, be aware that Amazon enforces time-off limits very strictly regardless of the circumstances and has been known to terminate employees who exceed their UPT limits, even by as little as one hour.
Additionally, keep in mind that the number of hours you use may exceed the actual time period when you weren’t working.
For example, six minutes of lateness results in losing an entire hour, according to The Verge. So, to avoid unforeseen consequences, it’s crucial to plan any time off carefully and precisely.
How Many Times Can I Use Bereavement Leave At Amazon?
There’s no official policy that limits bereavement leave when multiple family members pass away.
Nevertheless, it may be wise to consult with your manager for further guidance.
As for employees in Oregon, they can claim up to 12 weeks’ leave every 12 months, according to state law (if six family members pass away).
How Do I Take Bereavement Leave At Amazon?
To get bereavement leave, contact your manager to request a leave of absence and confirm that you qualify for this benefit. Try to do this as soon as possible to ensure you provide adequate notice.
Other than that, remember to obtain and keep documentation of the death so you’ll be prepared if a supervisor asks for proof that a relative died.
Should You Take Bereavement Leave?
If you qualify for this benefit and an immediate family member has truly passed away, there’s no significant reason not to take the leave.
You’ll be paid the usual wage when you’re on bereavement leave, and it won’t reduce the amount of paid or unpaid time off that you have accrued.
What Is The Whole Foods Bereavement Leave Policy?
Unfortunately, most staff members are not eligible for bereavement leave if they work at Whole Foods Market stores in the United States unless it is required by law.
For instance, Whole Foods supermarkets in Canada comply with Canadian law by providing three days of unpaid leave.
Additionally, Whole Foods and other Amazon companies have locations in Oregon where the state government requires major employers to offer bereavement leave.
Under this law, employees in Oregon can choose to exit the workplace without pay for a maximum of two weeks, making sure to give at least 24 hours notice.
However, some part-time workers don’t qualify under Oregon law since you have to work at least 25 hours in an average week to be eligible for the leave.
You also need to remain employed at a company for at least 180 days before requesting time off and can only request absence up to 60 days after a person’s death.
Note that this law applies to the passing of a staff member’s parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, spouse, or domestic partner, as well as the person’s mother-in-law or father-in-law.
Along with those direct relations, children, parents, and grandparents of a spouse or domestic partner also qualify.
More states have considered requiring bereavement leave in the past few years but are yet to implement it into law.
Other Amazon subsidiaries don’t necessarily have the same policy as Whole Foods.
For instance, Glassdoor indicates that Audible (which is now owned by Amazon) provides its personnel with bereavement leave.
Conclusion: Amazon Bereavement Leave Policy
Amazon employees typically have the opportunity to claim three paid days off when members of their immediate families pass away.
Some supervisors ask to see death-related documentation, such as a newspaper obituary or death certificate. The company policy doesn’t always apply to subsidiaries like Whole Foods, independent contractors, or non-U.S. staff.