Amazon reportedly brought back a workplace policy penalizing its employees for taking breaks on the job. This happened the company goes through the busiest sales week of the year.
The company can monitor when warehouse employees take breaks. It documents it as a “time off task” (TOT) when employees step away from scanning packages for what the company deems too long, says a court filing.
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Employees at Amazon’s Staten Island, N.Y., JKF8 facility made the court filing on Wednesday.
“Amazon is now treating the pandemic — and the need for measures to protect workers’ health and wellbeing — as a thing of the past, abandoning the policies that it once implemented in order to ‘maintain a safe environment’ at the JFK8 facility,” wrote Karla Gilbride, an attorney representing the employees, in a letter to the judge overseeing the case.
“The Worker Plaintiffs and their colleagues are once again in the untenable position of having to keep up with rate requirements that endanger their health or prioritizing health and safety and risking loss of their jobs,” Gilbride added.
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The company has the ability to monitor the length of time warehouse workers take breaks. With this, employees will reportedly be notified internally. They can also potentially lose their jobs if they take breaks for too long.
An Amazon warehouse employee in Minnesota accused the company “of retaliating against her,” in a July 2020 report by CNBC. Additionally, the said employee “is now asking the state’s attorney general to step in.”
Hibaq Mohamed, an employee of Amazon’s Shakopee, Minnesota facility, known as MSP1, wrote a letter to Attorney General Keith Ellison, saying that she was written up for “spending too much time away from her work station, or logging too many ‘time off tasks,’” reported CNBC.