An online petition protesting H-E-B’s new COVID absence policy is almost at its goal

The petition claims the San Antonio-based grocery chain replaced its previous COVID absence policy with one that penalizes employees who stay home after testing positive for COVID.


An anonymous employee created a petition earlier this month in protest of H-E-B’s new absence policy and it has quickly gained thousands of signatures.

The petition claims H-E-B’s generous COVID-19 absence policy was replaced January 1st with a new policy that penalizes employees who stay home after testing positive for COVID.

The employee said they were required to come into work with a mask despite testing positive for the virus earlier this month. They did not have a fever, but said they had symptoms.

The employee said they would have been penalized if they had called out sick and claims the new policy encourages partners to come into work while sick.

They called the new Attendance and Punctuality system "indiscriminate, uncaring, and corporatized.”

H-E-B told the San Antonio Express-News in a statement that changes to internal policies were made after “months of research and feedback."

The petition asks for the company to expand the list of approved excused absences to include legitimate illness.

“I’m not asking for extended disaster pay or forced leave. I’m simply asking that we aren’t punished for something outside of our control,” the employee said in the petition.

The petition has reached 5,275 signatures out of its 6,000-signature goal.

Copyright 2023 Texas Public Radio. To see more, visit Texas Public Radio.
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