Amazon Bereavement Policy In 2022: Everything You Need To Know

Losing a close family member is painful enough without having to stress about your job. You have so much to do, from making funeral arrangements to supporting loved ones. The last thing you need is confusion around taking time off work to grieve and heal.

That‘s why having a straightforward bereavement leave policy is so important. It provides clarity on what to expect if you experience a loss while employed. No more guessing about whether you‘ll have a paycheck or even a job to return to.

I‘ll walk you through all the key details on Amazon‘s current bereavement policy so you can feel fully informed. I‘ll cover:

  • Who qualifies for paid bereavement leave
  • How much time off is provided
  • What paperwork is required
  • How taking leave could impact your job
  • And much more

I‘ll even compare Amazon‘s policy to other major employers like Walmart and Target.

Let‘s get started!

What is Bereavement Leave?

Before diving into Amazon‘s specific policy, let‘s quickly review what bereavement leave means.

Bereavement leave is time off from work granted when an employee experiences a death in their immediate family.

It allows them to handle funeral arrangements, attend services, grieve with family, and deal with various matters related to the loss – without having to use sick days or vacation time.

Many companies offer paid bereavement leave so employees don‘t forfeit income during an already difficult time. It‘s considered a common employee benefit, like health insurance or retirement contributions.

Now that we‘re on the same page about bereavement leave in general, let‘s look at how Amazon approaches it.

Who Qualifies for Bereavement Leave at Amazon?

Amazon provides paid bereavement leave to all full-time and part-time employees. This covers:

  • Fulfillment center workers
  • Delivery drivers (Amazon Flex, Amazon Logistics)
  • Whole Foods team members
  • Remote corporate staff
  • And any other Amazon employees

That means both hourly and salaried workers can take advantage of the benefit if faced with a loss in the family.

Independent contractors and seasonal staff hired through agencies do NOT qualify for bereavement pay or time off since they aren‘t direct Amazon employees.

How Much Paid Bereavement Leave Does Amazon Offer?

Here are the key details on Amazon‘s paid bereavement leave policy:

  • 3 days of paid leave for the death of an immediate family member
  • Can be taken anytime in the 7 days following the death
  • Receive full regular pay (no reduction in wages)

Immediate family members include:

  • Spouse or domestic partner
  • Parent or step-parent
  • Child or step-child
  • Sibling
  • Grandparent
  • Grandchild

If you need more time off for bereavement beyond 3 days, you can use any paid time off (PTO) you‘ve accrued. Or take unpaid leave if you have no remaining PTO.

How does Amazon‘s bereavement leave compare to other major employers? Here‘s a quick table:

Company Paid Bereavement Leave
Amazon 3 days
Walmart 3 days
Target 3 days
Costco 3 days
UPS 3 days

The 3 days offered by Amazon matches most competitor policies. Walmart, Target, UPS, and Costco also provide 3 paid days minimum.

Next let‘s look at…

What Proof or Documentation Does Amazon Require?

Amazon does not have an official published policy around providing proof or documentation for bereavement leave.

However, some employees report being asked for an obituary, death certificate, funeral program, or other evidence by their manager when requesting leave.

Having documentation ready is recommended in case it is requested. Examples include:

  • Obituary
  • Funeral slip
  • Death certificate
  • Church or funeral home letter

Ideally, your manager will trust your word if you report a family member has passed. But they are within rights to ask for verification before approving bereavement leave.

Now let‘s go over…

How Do I Request Bereavement Leave from Amazon?

If you experience a loss in your immediate family while working at Amazon, here are the steps to request bereavement leave:

1. Notify your manager of the death and expected leave details as soon as possible. At minimum, provide the name of deceased and your relationship.

2. Formally request a leave of absence through Amazon‘s employee portal or HR system. Specify "bereavement" as the reason.

3. Indicate your relationship to the deceased and their name.

4. Provide any documentation if asked by your manager.

5. Obtain approval before starting bereavement leave.

As long as you follow proper procedures and supply documentation if required, your bereavement request will likely be approved.

Be sure to follow standard call-out procedures until your leave is formally authorized. This involves reporting absences through the Amazon A to Z app.

Okay, next up is…

Can I Take Bereavement Leave for a Pet at Amazon?

Losing a pet you‘ve loved for years can be absolutely devastating. However, Amazon‘s bereavement policy only applies to human family members.

While you can still take time to grieve a pet by using PTO or unpaid leave, pet bereavement is not covered.

Very few employers offer pet bereavement leave at this time. According to ABC News, only some companies like Kimpton Hotels and Mars Inc. provide official pet bereavement leave.

Now let‘s discuss an important related question…

Could I Be Fired for Taking Bereavement Leave at Amazon?

Amazon cannot legally fire or discipline you for taking bereavement leave you‘re entitled to under company policy or state law.

However, you must follow proper procedures for notifying Amazon and getting approval.

As long as you provide adequate notice, documentation if required, and receive authorization for time off, using allowed bereavement leave is not grounds for termination.

Keep reading to learn what happens if you exceed leave allowances and go negative on UPT.

Next up is…

How Does Whole Foods Bereavement Policy Compare?

Since Amazon acquired Whole Foods in 2017, Whole Foods employees are now under the Amazon corporate umbrella. However, bereavement leave policies still differ.

Unlike Amazon staff, Whole Foods team members in the U.S. do not receive paid bereavement leave unless required by state law. For instance:

  • Whole Foods employees in Canada get 3 unpaid days to align with Canadian federal bereavement laws.
  • In Oregon, Whole Foods must provide 2 weeks unpaid leave as mandated for large employers by the state.

For Whole Foods team members not covered by a law requiring bereavement leave, PTO or unpaid time off will need to be used instead.

This mismatch between Amazon and Whole Foods policies is important to note if you work at Whole Foods or are considering employment there.

Okay, next we‘ll look at…

State-by-State Bereavement Laws in the U.S.

In addition to the companywide policy, some states have laws requiring a minimum amount of bereavement leave.

Always check the regulations in your location to understand your full rights.

Here are some examples of current state bereavement laws in the U.S.:


  • 3 days paid leave allowed for grandparents, grandchildren, siblings.
  • Applies to employers with 25+ employees.

This means Amazon employees in California can actually get 3 days paid leave for expanded family, beyond what the Amazon policy covers.


  • 2 weeks unpaid leave
  • Applies to employees after 180 days of employment
  • Covers immediate family: parents, children, spouses, grandparents, grandchildren

New York

  • Up to 4 hours paid leave to attend funeral services for immediate family
  • Includes grandparents, grandchildren, siblings


  • Up to 10 working days unpaid leave
  • Covers parents, spouses, children, siblings, grandparents, in-laws, and domestic partners

Be sure to look up the specifics for your state. The additional protections can provide you with more time if needed.

Alright, next we need to discuss…

What Happens If I Exceed Unpaid Time Off Limits?

If you require more bereavement leave than the 3 paid days Amazon provides, you may need to take unpaid time off. This reduces your unpaid time off (UPT) balance.

Here‘s what happens if you go negative on UPT:

  • Every minute late reduces UPT by 1 hour
  • Even 1 hour of negative UPT can result in immediate termination of employment
  • Amazon strictly enforces this policy whether absences are bereavement-related or not

To avoid unintended impacts to your job, be very careful in estimating the amount of time off needed for bereavement and funeral arrangements.

It‘s shockingly easy to go negative on UPT, even if you feel certain you have enough time accrued. Every small tardy or delay deducts UPT in 1 hour increments.

If you do end up below zero on UPT, reach out to HR right away to discuss options. In rare cases exceptions are made, but assume going negative will result in losing your job.

What Should I Do If I Need More Bereavement Time Off?

The 3 days of leave may not be enough depending on your circumstances like travel required or a delayed funeral service.

If you need more time off beyond what Amazon offers for bereavement, you have a few options:

  • Use any paid time off (PTO) you‘ve accrued to remain paid during leave
  • Take unpaid leave, closely tracking UPT impact
  • Speak with HR about potentially taking a personal leave of absence
  • Utilize Employee Assistance Program resources for grief counseling or other support
  • Request accommodation under FMLA or ADA if needed for mental health reasons

Talk to HR if you need help navigating extra time off. While exceptions to UPT allowances are rare, additional support may be available.

Okay, let‘s wrap things up with a quick summary…

Conclusion: Key Takeaways on Amazon Bereavement Policy

  • Amazon employees get 3 paid days off for the death of an immediate family member
  • Notify your manager ASAP and provide any required documentation
  • Follow call-out procedures until leave is approved
  • Watch UPT carefully to prevent termination if more time is needed
  • Bereavement laws provide additional protections depending on your state

Losing a loved one is painful enough without work concerns adding stress. I hope this breakdown of Amazon‘s bereavement policy gives you clarity during a difficult time.

Now you can feel fully prepared if you ever need to take bereavement leave from Amazon or Whole Foods. Reach out to HR if you need support navigating time off. My sincerest condolences for your loss.

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