“Amazon Empowers Managers to Dismiss Policy-Defying Workers”


Amazon instructs managers to take action against employees who defy the company’s ‘three-days-a-week’ return-to-office mandate, potentially including termination, as the e-commerce giant faces resistance to its changing work policies.

Amazon Requires Managers to Enforce 'Three-Days-a-Week' Office Attendance Policy
Amazon Requires Managers to Enforce 'Three-Days-a-Week' Office Attendance Policy

In a bid to reinforce its ‘three-days-a-week’ return-to-office policy, Amazon has instructed managers to take action against employees who fail to comply, even to the extent of possible termination, according to reports. The move comes as the e-commerce giant faces resistance from some of its workforce over shifting work policies.

As per reports by Business Insider, Amazon has issued guidelines to its managers, directing them to initiate private conversations with employees who do not adhere to the office-attendance mandate. These discussions are to be documented in follow-up emails. If an employee persists in non-compliance and refuses to return to the office three times a week, managers are advised to hold additional meetings and, if necessary, take disciplinary action, which could include termination.

The guidelines emphasize that the return to the office is a job requirement, and managers are tasked with explaining to their employees that continued non-compliance without a legitimate reason may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

Amazon initially introduced its return-to-office policy, which required employees to work in the office at least three times a week starting in May. This announcement led to internal protests, with over 30,000 employees signing a petition and some staging walkouts. Employees argued that they were initially hired as fully remote workers during the Covid-19 pandemic and felt that the new policy represented a shift away from the previous flexibility that allowed leaders to determine their teams’ working arrangements.

In an additional effort to enforce office attendance, Amazon asked remote employees to relocate near office ‘hubs’ where most of their team members were based. Those who refused to relocate or couldn’t find a team accommodating their needs were encouraged to resign, often with a ‘voluntary resignation’ package.

Furthermore, Amazon had moved from tracking only anonymized data to sharing individual attendance records with employees, marking a shift in its approach to employee monitoring.

Amazon’s CEO, Andy Jassy, had previously stated that resisting the office-attendance mandate would not work. However, confusion arose when a top Amazon cloud executive informed his team that the return-to-office process could take up to three years to complete.

An Amazon spokesperson explained that the company has witnessed increased energy, connection, and collaboration among the majority of employees who have returned to the office more frequently. The spokesperson also mentioned that Amazon’s relocation policy affects a relatively small percentage of the workforce, and exceptions to the return-to-office mandate would be considered on a case-by-case basis.

As Amazon navigates the complexities of evolving workplace policies and employee expectations, it remains to be seen how these changes will impact its workforce and corporate culture in the long run.

Sources By Agencies

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