Amazon Employment Claims Receive Global Criticism

An article from the New York Times has accused one of the world’s largest companies of mistreating employees and encouraging illegal working hours.

The article, which received global attention from across the world stated that Amazon encouraged employees to work 80 hour weeks, answer emails after midnight and unreasonable working hours and conditions.

The report from the newspaper comes following evidence provided by 100 former and current Amazon workers, who show Amazon to be an unreasonable and unfair employer. Some of the complaints made against the company also imply that staff suffered from health conditions due to the pressure of the workplace and the nature of their employer. According to the report, staff were forced to answer emails late at night and “toil long and late” into the night. There were also allegations of workers who had suffered issues being forced out of the company and unfairly dismissed.

The article reads: "Workers are encouraged to tear apart one another’s ideas in meetings, toil long and late (emails arrive past midnight, followed by text messages asking why they were not answered), and held to standards that the company boasts are “unreasonably high.”

Company Denies Claims

Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, however, has responded to the article and the criticism. In an online response to the criticism he said: "The article doesn’t describe the Amazon I know or the caring Amazonians I work with every day." wrote Bezos.

"It claims that our intentional approach is to create a soulless, dystopian workplace where no fun is had, and no laughter heard. Again, I don’t recognize this Amazon, and I very much hope you don’t, either.”

He wrote: "The people we hire here are the best of the best. You are recruited every day by other world-class companies, and you can work anywhere you want."

He also denied claims by stating that the company could not be so successful if workers were so unhappy to work and wished to leave with Bezos adding that Amazon workers should email him if they recognised or were the victims of some of the "shockingly callous management practices" described in the article.

Gender Claims

The article from the New York Times also claimed that many of the workers at Amazon were the victim of some sort of gender discrimination with the number of females in management positions being lower than many other companies. The article argued that the firm effectively encourage the glass ceiling. The article claimed that none of the top leadership teams consist of females, however, a worker at the company stated:"I have seen Amazon do more to encourage diversity than any other company I've worked for."

It is not the first time that unfair working condition claims have been made against Amazon. In 2013, a worker complained that his daily duty usually involved him walking eleven miles per day as a result of the size of the warehouse.

Employer Duty of Care

The accusations against Amazon could potentially lead to legal action with some of the alleged incidents showing that the company failed in their duty of care. If your employer fails to ensure you are safe in your workplace and are working under appropriate conditions, you could take legal action. If you have been overlooked for a promotion or if you have suffered workplace discrimination as a result of your gender, you could make a claim. Contact us today using our online contact form to talk to our expert employment lawyers based in Aberdeen.


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