Conceiving a baby is an ecstatic feeling for many. With the baby comes tremendous joy and happiness. But not for the Amazon warehouse workers.
Amazon pays their warehouse employees $15 per hour. They work for 10 hour shifts with 30 minutes bathroom break. In order to keep track of every workers’ productivity, they are given a Rate. The chances of getting fired increases as the workers’ rate decreases. In means having to pack approximately 125 products in an hour.
Being Pregnant means dealing with nausea, vomiting, constant need to go to the bathroom, etc. You might think that it is difficult to even show up at work with all this uneasiness. But it is even more difficult for the women who work in the Amazon warehouses.
Their work usually involves lifting heavy weights, climbing a ladder, standing for a very long time and running here and there. All of which a pregnant woman will find difficult to do. Also an extended bathroom break may lower their rate.
Instead of giving these workers some allowances and more bathroom breaks, Amazon chose to fire them. Seven lawsuits were filed against Amazon for this particular reason. But many women chose to not file a case, either because they couldn’t afford it or they were worried about the retribution.
Rebecca Kolins Givan, an associate professor at the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations quoted that “The system is designed to not accommodate anything that diminishes the productivity, whether that’s pregnancy or anything else” Discrimination against pregnant employees are wrong in any organization.
There was also a case where Amazon fired a guy since he was suffering from Crohn’s disease, a digestive disorder. He was fired as he was taking very frequent bathroom breaks.
Amazon also fired a woman for taking a leave of absence for three days as she was having the flu. Evidently, Amazon does not accept a Doctor’s note as well. Another worker for fired for raising a concern against poor working conditions.
Consumer benefits such as one-day delivery for Amazon-Prime members, comes with inconvenience and pressure for the warehouse workers. But Amazon has denied any wrongdoing and has settled most of the lawsuits.
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