Since its founding 25 years ago, Amazon has grown from a little-known online bookstore to the top e-commerce platform in the world. Known for its quick shipping, competitive pricing, and dependable customer service, it’s no mystery why the company’s valuation is approaching $1 trillion.
Yet, although it’s become a staple among consumers, there’s another side to Amazon that many of its employees can attest to: The company has a long history of treating workers poorly.
If you are a current or former Amazon employee who suffered from workplace retaliation, overtime violations, workplace discrimination, or another unfair or undue circumstance, the labor and employment attorneys at Morgan & Morgan are here to help. Here’s what you should know.
Examples of Amazon’s Mistreatment of Employees
No matter where you work, you should feel safe. Unfortunately, many Amazon workers are subject to harsh working conditions, and the company has shown a pattern of mistreating and discriminating against its employees. You might have seen some of these examples in the news:
- Warehouse employees described a mandatory 60-hour work week during the holidays, which led to frequent ambulance calls for injured coworkers.
- In the winter, warehouse workers were forced to do their jobs in sub-zero temperatures.
- Workers feared repercussions for taking bathroom breaks and potentially falling short on quotas.
- An employee with Crohn's disease, a painful inflammatory bowel condition, was fired and accused of stealing time for going to the restroom.
- Employees were expected to scan a new item every 11 seconds or risk getting fired.
- The company was accused of firing a warehouse worker out of retaliation when he criticized the company’s “robot”-like treatment of its workers.
- Amazon refused to offer a different assignment to accommodate a worker who had been injured on the job.
- Multiple women have sued the company for pregnancy discrimination.
Labor and Employment Laws
Thankfully, there are laws in place to protect workers under these types of circumstances:
- Discrimination: It’s illegal to discriminate against an employee based on their race, age, religion, sex, national origin, or disability. Examples of discrimination include denying employment based on someone’s skin color, or refusing to provide equal opportunities to employees of different religious backgrounds.
- Harassment: Workplace harassment may include threats, slurs, offensive jokes, bullying, unwelcome sexual advances, and other actions that create a hostile work environment.
- Minimum Wage and Overtime Violations: Workers have a right to earn at least minimum wage. They also have a right to overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours and are a non-exempt employee. Some employers, however, don’t abide by these laws in an effort to cut costs.
- Denying Leave of Absence: Leave of absence laws are designed to protect workers who require extended periods of time away from work.
- Workplace Retaliation: Some employers punish employees who file complaints against the company. They may retaliate by reducing the worker’s pay, demoting them, reassigning them to a less desirable role, or even excluding them from training and other essential activities.