Amazon has a number of productivity measures that keep employees working long, hard hours for the duration of their shift. These metrics are not always shared with employees, despite employees being dinged if they mess up the various metrics.
The way that Amazon keeps its employees moving has led to a number of accidents. In fact, nearly half of all warehouse accidents in the U.S. are attributed to Amazon – a startling statistic that the giant corporation doesn’t want to accept.
New York has decided that enough is enough. Lawmakers have passed a bill that targets how Amazon and other warehouses will use warehouse productivity quotas.
To start, it means that Amazon employees can now use the bathroom and take a break – something that was pretty much forbidden prior to New York stepping in.
Imagine being told that you can’t use the bathroom all because it would destroy your company’s productivity metrics… that’s what Amazon has been doing.
As reported by CBS News, “If workers are inactive for a set period of time, the company’s ‘time off task’ tool can ding them for taking too many breaks, which critics have blamed for the company’s injury rates.”
The legislation has already passed through the state – and it’s on its way to Governor Kathy Hochul’s desk for her signature.
The bill, if signed off on, would require Amazon and other warehouse companies to provide employees with information about quotas that are assigned to them, how the quotas are developed, and how such could be used for disciplinary purposes.
Employers would also be prohibited from placing quotas that prevent employees from taking a break or using the bathroom.
While Hochul hasn’t said whether she’ll sign it, she’s proven in the past that she’s no fan of Amazon. Last month, she announced a complaint against Amazon where the company was allegedly discriminating against disabled and pregnant workers by denying reasonable accommodations and requiring them to take leave – unpaid.
New York isn’t the only state to come after Amazon.
California has passed a similar bill to ensure that workers are able to take breaks. New Hampshire and Washington are also introducing bills with similar legislation.
Amazon may be facing troubled waters. Amazon workers in New York City had a union victory – yet Amazon has filed objections to overturn that win.
They don’t want to unionize.
Meanwhile, employees simply want to be humanized by the company.
Employees seem to be neglected and even injured all so that the company can get goods to its buyers as quickly as possible. Forbes published an article last year about a “hard-hitting investigative report” that was conducted by the New York Times. This focused not only on injuries but also on pay errors.
There was an issue with payroll software that caused countless issues with employees that had “medical problems and other life crises having been fired when the attendance software mistakenly marked them as no-shows.”
It is also believed that Jeff Bezos has a theory regarding productivity. Employees that stay with one company for too long cause problems. They expect raises, so salaries go up. But employees on the job for too long grow complacent, so productivity drops. As Forbes said, “the solution was to replace workers before their productivity further deteriorated and pay increased.” It’s why Amazon has one of the highest turnover rates in comparison to other companies.
If even New York is going after a company, there has to be a problem. There’s no way to put a liberal spin on a company that is constantly caught abusing its employees in one way or another.