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Amazon Employees Are Demanding Paid Sick Leave After Catching the Company Breaking the Law
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In violation of county law, the e-commerce behemoth Amazon failed to provide employees with paid sick time — until workers at Skokie, Illinois, delivery station took matters into their hands, Buzzfeed News reports.

The Illinois employees said the company has failed to adhere to the requirement since the facility opened in Skokie in October 2019

There is a growing number of Amazon employees across the US who are demanding better conditions.

  
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According to the county law, the workers at the Skokie delivery station located in Cook County, Illinois, should have been provided with one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 working hours. However, the Amazon workers said they’ve received no sick pay and were given demerit points for leaving early or missing work due to illness. Employees who reach 13 demerit points are fired.

The workers first asked about their legal right to paid-sick time in late February, in a meeting with an on-site HR representative, BuzzFeed News reports.

Following the meeting, one of the workers publicly inquired on a “Voice of Associate” whiteboard Amazon uses for employees to share their concerns.

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Amazon managers replied to the question, writing, “thank you for the callout!” The question was later erased. After another worker inquired about the issue on the same whiteboard, the Amazon management responded by writing out a message

“Thank you for the outreach. We regularly audit our payroll and time systems and recently identified a discrepancy in the sick time you accrue. We have a team working to correct this error and will provide updates ASAP. We appreciate your understanding and please know you can reach out to HR or myself with any other questions.”



Tomás Uriostegui, a Skokie Amazon employee told BuzzFeed News he received 33 minutes of paid sick leave, but given the number of hours, he’s worked, he believes he’s owed 12 hours in paid sick time.

“We need the money that you owe us from last year,” Uriostegui said. “According to the law, [you] owe us that.”

Another employee told BuzzFeed News she’s worked for Amazon for almost 4 months and had only accrued one hour of sick time.

“It frustrates me because we have an HR department and they should have been on this from the beginning,” the worker told BuzzFeed news. 

Warehouse employees say the company has to issue an official report about sick time beyond the whiteboard messages. The workers plan to present Amazon management with a petition demanding accrued sick time be backdated to their hire date.

Amazon said it’s in the process of providing the Skokie employees with all the sick time they would have accrued since their date of hire.



 

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