Amazon has been the target of employee grievances for many years. Complaints against Amazon allege numerous workplace safety and labor law violations, in addition to adverse working conditions. However, the company is still one of the most successful companies in the world. We have summarized the most common Amazon employee complaints below.
Employee Complaints About Working at Amazon
There are numerous articles and reports by various news outlets regarding the working conditions at Amazon, primarily in Amazon’s warehouses where there is pressure to quickly ship products to consumers. Some of the common grievances raised by past and present Amazon employees include:
1. Mandatory Overtime
During very busy periods of the year, employees are mandated to work up to 60 hours a week. Reports indicate the shifts are 10-hour shifts for six days or five 12-hour night shifts. Labor laws in the United States require employers to pay 1½ times the employee’s regular pay rate for overtime. While exempt employees are not subject to overtime pay, we commonly hear from Amazon’s exempt and salaried employees that they work a grueling number of hours each week just to get the work done and to compete with their peers in hope of receiving a promotion. It is also common to hear employees state that Amazon is supposed to be their life and if they have a life outside of work, they are often targeted for termination.
2. Physically Grueling Work
Many warehouse employees report that the work is physically grueling, especially when the company forces them to work overtime. Employees must lift heavy objects while still meeting tight deadlines and quotas.
3. No Time Off
During the holidays and peak times, asking for time off is banned. Some employees reported being able to take holidays during peak season, but they scheduled the holding months in advance.
4. Unreasonable Expectations
Some employees report having their employment terminated because they could not come to work due to an illness or family emergency. Others report they had to come to work even though weather conditions made driving dangerous. Amazon denies these allegations. Following the COVID-19 outbreak, Amazon was criticized for requiring employees to continue working at the risk of contracting the virus. Amazon hired over 150,000 new workers in order to keep up with the consumer demand in response to the pandemic.
5. Dangerous Objects
Employees have reported the requirement to handle dangerous objects that can result in injuries. Amazon denies that allegation, claiming that products are securely packaged or wrapped before they are stored in bins.
6. Unreasonable Deadlines
Employees in the United Kingdom reported deadlines so tight that they could not take bathroom breaks. Employees would urinate in trash cans and bottles to avoid missing their deadlines. Drivers report similar instances because of tight delivery schedules. There have also been allegations that Amazon’s pressure on drivers to timely deliver goods have led to numerous car accidents Employees in one facility reported they were expected to pick up 400 items per hour (about one item every 7 seconds).
7. Lack of Work-Life Balance
Many employees reported that they do not have a healthy work-life balance and that upper management does not care. You are expected to work long hours in a cutthroat environment while giving up holidays and vacations.
Amazon Denies Allegations of Unsafe Work Environments and Poor Employee Treatment
Amazon denies allegations of unsafe work environments, substantial injuries, unreasonable expectations, lack of breaks, and other complaints that go against its company policies and labor laws.
Contact Seattle Employment Law Attorneys for Help
If you believe your employer has violated labor laws, contact our Seattle employment law attorneys to discuss your legal rights. You may have one or more legal causes of action against your employer.