E-commerce giant Amazon announced on Saturday it is raising overtime pay for employees working in its U.S. warehouses, as the world’s largest online retailer tries to meet the rapidly growing demand for online shopping from consumers stuck at home during the coronavirus outbreak.
Hourly workers at the warehouses will receive double pay for overtime, up from the 1.5-times rate, from March 15 to May 9, the company said.
“All hourly associates working in the U.S. Ops network will receive double their regular hourly rate for every overtime hour worked in a workweek,” the company said in a statement. “This temporary increased overtime pay is effective March 15, 2020 and will continue through May 9. 2020.”
The announcement came few days after Amazon said it plans to hire thousands of new warehouse workers following a “significant” increase in workload and demand for online delivery services amid the coronavirus outbreak.
In a memo obtained by The Wall Street Journal, the company said it planned to hire around 100,000 new employees and called the current surge in orders brought on by the global outbreak “unprecedented.”
Amazon’s current starting wages are $15 an hour at its warehouse and fulfillment centers according to the Journal.
“We are seeing a significant increase in demand, which means our labor needs are unprecedented for this time of year,” wrote Amazon’s senior vice president of operations, Dave Clark, according to the Journal.