A year ago, Tara Jones, an Amazon warehouse worker in Oklahoma, discovered when checking her salary details after the birth of her newborn that she had received only $90 of the $540 she was entitled to on maternity leave. And this case is no exception in the global trade giant.
in a a report Prepared by Judy Kantor, Karen Wise and Grace Ashford, The New York Times said that Amazon is currently facing the biggest human resource problem since its founding, as it has been shown to distinguish between its employees in terms of paid and unpaid leave.
Jones, who took accounting classes at a community college, reported the problem but the company didn’t act, so she emailed the company’s founder, Jeff Bezos.
“I’m late in paying the bills, all because the accounting department miscalculated my salary,” Jones wrote in her letter.
Unbeknownst to Mrs. Jones, her letter triggered an internal investigation, only to find that her case was no exception. For at least a year-and-a-half, including during record earnings periods, Amazon has deducted some employees’ wages during maternity, sick and other leave, according to a confidential report on the findings of an internal investigation.
The error is only a small part of Amazon’s system problems with paid and unpaid leave, according to dozens of interviews and hundreds of pages of internal documents obtained by The New York Times.
Documents reveal imported
Documents and interviews reveal that these problems mainly affected the company’s blue-collar workers, which many insiders describe as one of the most serious human resource problems.
A number of former and current human resources employees, some of whom spoke anonymously for fear of repercussions, confirmed that a large number of workers who took leave were dismissed due to medical or other problems, after the company’s “working system” classified them – wrongly. – They are absent all the time.
Doctors’ notes have disappeared from Amazon’s databases, employees have struggled to reach managers responsible for their cases, and the company’s “leave system” runs on a heterogeneous patchwork of programmes.
Some workers lost weeks or months of their paycheck, and higher-paid company employees, who had to deal with the same system, found routine leave very confusing. Company officials warned in internal correspondence of “inadequate service levels”, “flawed processes” and systems “prone to delays and error.”
According to the newspaper, this problem starkly shows the low status of Amazon workers, coinciding with the company’s rapid rise and dominance of the global retail market. According to many of the company’s former workers, Amazon was interested in building new warehouses to meet increased demand, get closer to consumers and outperform competitors, but it did not allocate enough resources to meet the needs of employees in these warehouses.
Bethany Reyes, who was recently tasked with overhauling Amazon’s “vacation system”, says the company is working hard to rebalance consumer needs and employee-friendly work environments.
But the company’s efforts – which employs more than 1.3 million people – to tackle this problem are facing growing criticism. Activists and some lawmakers say the company does not adequately protect the safety of warehouse employees, and is taking punitive measures against anyone who internally criticizes the omission.
violation of the law
The vacation problem at Amazon isn’t entirely new. In 2017, employee Leslie Tolles faced domestic violence and requested unpaid leave under Washington state law. The law stipulates that the employee, if the leave request is approved, is allowed to work intermittently, and he can be absent from work without warning when necessary, without incurring any consequences.
Amazon agreed to the leave request, but the company did not appear to understand the procedures it agreed to, as court documents show that the leave was not in accordance with the law of the company’s home state.
Tollis says she has had constant problems leaving work and returning home to keep her children safe. In June 2019, after taking two days off to deal with a family crisis, she was fired for not keeping an application deadline. The Washington state attorney general’s office took her case, calling Amazon’s vacation reporting system “failed” and saying the company had violated state law.
The company responded that it had given Ms. Tollis adequate support and full leave benefits over a two-year period, adding that she was fired for inaction rather than for taking leave.