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02/15/2022

Walmart, Sam’s Club eliminating mask mandate for vaccinated employees

Fully vaccinated Walmart and Sam’s Club workers in the United States are no longer required to wear masks while on the job unless a state or local mask mandate is in place.
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a person eating a hot dog in a store

The nation’s largest private employer is making some changes to its COVID-19 related policies.

Fully vaccinated Walmart and Sam’s Club workers in the United States are no longer required to wear masks while on the job unless a state or local mask mandate is in place. Walmart, which has about 1.6 million U.S. employees, defined fully vaccinated as receiving the full two-dose regimen of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.  

[Read More: Sam’s Club to offer same-day prescription delivery via DoorDash]

Masks are still required for unvaccinated Walmart workers as well as those who work in clinical settings, such as pharmacies and health clinics. Vaccinated workers who choose to wear a mask can continue to do so.

Walmart was one of the first major retailers to require that its employees wear masks or face coverings while on the job, implementing the policy in April 2020. In May 2021, it dropped the requirement for vaccinated employees. Several months later, in July, the company reinstated the mask mandate amid the Delta variant, but only in certain locations. In December, amid the Omicron wave, it reinstated the requirement chainwide.

[Read More: Walmart pilots drone delivery in Arkansas]

In other changes, Walmart will end its paid COVID-19 leave on March 31, except where required by state and local mandate. The emergency leave policy provided paid leave for COVID-related time off in addition to the company’s regular paid time off policy.

In addition, the retailer is ending its daily health screening program for employees on Feb. 28, except in California, New York and Virginia where it is required by the state.

Walmart's move comes after Amazon dropped its mask requirement for fully vaccinated workers at its U.S. warehouses (as local regulations allow).

This story originally appeared on Chain Store Age

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