Amazon-owned Whole Foods will be withdrawing medical benefits for hundreds of its part-time workers starting Jan. 1, 2020, the company said Thursday.
In the past, employees needed to work at least 20 hours a week to buy into the health-care plan. Now they will need to work at least 30 hours. Less than 2% of its workforce, or 1,900 employees, will no longer be eligible for medical coverage, under the new policy, the company said.
The news was first reported by Business Insider.
"In order to better meet the needs of our business and create a more equitable and efficient scheduling model, we are moving to a single-tier part-time structure," a company spokesperson said in an email. "We are providing Team Members with resources to find alternative healthcare coverage options, or to explore full-time, healthcare-eligible positions starting at 30 hours per week. All Whole Foods Market Team Members continue to receive employment benefits including a 20% in-store discount."
In 2018, Amazon raised its minimum wage to $15 for all employees, including those at Whole Foods. Amazon also announced last week that it was planning on adding more than 30,000 permanent jobs in its tech, corporate and fulfillment departments.