An employee at a UPS warehouse on the south side of Greensboro passed away this week, a spokesperson for the company has confirmed.
While the cause of death was not released due to privacy concerns, the company said that they are “informing coworkers in the area that a case has occurred” and that they are “cooperating with public health authorities concerning the employee’s contact trace and are recommending coworkers that they self-monitor and contact a physician if any symptoms occur.”
“UPS is saddened by the loss of our employee, and we extend our deepest condolences to their family and friends,” wrote Matthew O’Connor, the senior manager for public relations. “We are sharing this news with our employee’s co-workers and we are making support services available to them, when requested.”
O’Connor’s statement did not make it clear whether the employee who died is the same one who tested positive for COVID-19, and he did not respond in time for publication to a request from Triad City Beat for clarification.
O’Connor also said in his statement that the company is also “thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting the areas where that employee worked, according to public health department recommendations before work resumes.”
Some of the measures implemented at the warehouse by the company include “sharing hygiene protocols, social distancing information and protective equipment in line with the CDC’s guidance.” O’Connor’s statement also said that they have “significantly increased cleaning and disinfecting [its] vehicles, equipment and work surfaces throughout [its] 2,800 global facilities.”
The Atlanta-based shipping company is the world’s largest package delivery company and brought in $74 billion in revenue in 2019, according to its website, which also reports that it delivered 5.5 billion packages worldwide in 2019.
To ensure customer safety, O’Connor said, the company has “modified [its] delivery processes so that [its] service providers do not have to come in contact with customers, thereby ensuring [they] continue to deliver safely.”
Recently, UPS workers in other states have also tested positive for COVID-19 including in Massachusetts according to a report by NBC. At the Worldport in Kentucky, the company’s largest air-sorting hub, two employees died from COVID-19 earlier this month, NBC reported.
While workers have not received an increase in pay during COVID-19, the company is offering an additional 10 days paid time off for workers who are exposed to the virus, according to the company’s statement.
“The ongoing health of our employees is very important to us, and essential for UPS to provide the critical services on which our communities depend,” O’Connor said.
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Saya, Does this mean all those who worked alongside this employee are now getting 10 paid days to quarantine? “While workers have not received an increase in pay during COVID-19, the company is offering an additional 10 days paid time off for workers who are exposed to the virus, according to the company’s statement.”
From everything I’ve read, UPS is only allowing sick time if an employee has an actual positive test, which is very difficult to even get tested right now. Are those with symptoms, but no positive test still expected to work or not get paid?
Hi AJ, thanks for your question. As far as my understanding, no, they are not being offered that. That rule applies to people who have tested positive OR people who are living with people who have tested positive.
I honestly think it’s not fair that we still have to work around these conditions and play Russian roulette with our life with no extra pay. I love the system but the part where we still come in and “HOPE” the person we are around isn’t infected or even ourselves and don’t know it, that’s scary. UPS is my life, but this is wild. $74 Billion………