Buggy Amazon HR System Shortchanged, Even Fired Workers on Leave: Report
COMING UP SHORT
For at least 18 months, Amazon has been quietly attempting to detangle bugs in a patchwork human resources system meant to handle paid and unpaid leave for vulnerable workers, according to a report by The New York Times. The flaws in the leave software have been so severe that employees applying for time off, often parental or medical, have lost weeks or months of income. Some have even been fired after broken programs marked them as no-shows. The Times reported that as many as 180 Amazon warehouses could have been affected by the issue, which is still being dealt with by the company.
Backlogged programs “prone to delay and error” affected both blue- and white-collar employees, one of whom described “losing everything” after going on disability leave and abruptly losing his benefits, the Times reports. The lack of care for its employees is thanks in no small part due to Amazon’s optimization “for the customer experience,” Bethany Reyes, who has been put in charge of debugging the complex system and training confused back-office employees unfamiliar with it, told the Times. Reyes called the software’s issues “pain points,” acknowledging that its accidental terminations were “the most dire issue you could have.”