Is Amazon Breaching Your Employment Agreement?

Is Amazon Breaching Your Employment Agreement? Forms & Services

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Has Amazon violated your employment agreement?

If so, below are some things to think about if you’re deciding to make a claim for breach of contract by Amazon.

Amazon violating your civil rights - age discrimination at Amazon


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Amazon violating your civil rights - age discrimination at Amazon


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Amazon violating your civil rights - age discrimination at Amazon


You meet online with one of our lawyers who then drafts an appropriate communication for you to use to try and resolve your employment issues with Amazon.


What’s in your Amazon employment contract?

Typically, an Amazon employment agreement has two parts:

An Offer Letter

An offer letter will commonly include terms like:

  • Start Date and Salary
  • Signing Bonus
  • Relocation
  • Benefits
  • Restricted Stock Unit Award
  • Employment At Will
  • Proof of Employment Eligibility

Thus, it could be a breach of contract if what the employee actually receives in terms of compensation and benefits doesn’t match what’s in the offer letter or employment agreement.

A Confidentiality, Non-competition, and Invention Assignment Agreement

This will often include terms like:

  • A requirement that “Employee will devote Employee’s entire productive time, ability, attention, and effort to furthering Amazon’s best interests and will not (without Amazon’s prior written consent) carry on any separate professional or other gainful employment, including self-employment and contract work.”
  • A requirement to protect Amazon’s confidential information
  • A non-compete (in states that allow it)
  • A prohibition on soliciting Amazon’s customers after leaving Amazon
  • A prohibition on trying to hire away Amazon’s employees, contractors, or consultants
  • Assignment of the employee’s intellectual property rights to Amazon


Non-competes are unenforceable in some states like California. An increasing number of states are prohibiting non-competes, at least for lower-level workers.

As The Verge reported,

Amazon is the country’s largest and most sophisticated online retailer, but it still runs largely on manual labor.

Scattered around the country are massive warehouses staffed by workers who spend their days picking objects off shelves and putting them in boxes. During the holiday season, the company calls on a huge reserve army of temporary laborers.

The work is repetitive and physically demanding and can pay several dollars above minimum wage, yet Amazon is requiring these workers — even seasonal ones — to sign strict and far-reaching noncompete agreements.

The Amazon contract, obtained by The Verge, requires employees to promise that they will not work at any company where they “directly or indirectly” support any good or service that competes with those they helped support at Amazon, for a year and a half after their brief stints at Amazon end. Of course, the company’s warehouses are the beating heart of Amazon’s online shopping empire, the extraordinary breadth of which has earned it the title of “The Everything Store,” so Amazon appears to be requiring temp. workers to foreswear a sizable portion of the global economy in exchange for a several-months-long hourly warehouse gig.

As The Verge notes,

Noncompete agreements have traditionally been associated with highly skilled, white collar jobs where, in exchange for signing a restrictive contract, employees might gain specialized training and learn trade secrets that enable professional advancement. More recently, such contracts have been seeping into low-skilled and low-wage occupations that require little on-the-job training.

However, it’s unclear whether Amazon has attempted to enforce its noncompete contracts with hourly warehouse workers, and Amazon did not respond when asked about this by The Verge. Amazon said that it would be removing non-compete clauses for lower-level workers. Amazon does seem to be enforcing its non-competes when it comes to more senior workers.

As Protocol reported, Charlotte Newman, a Black woman manager, sued Amazon alleging “a systemic pattern of discrimination rooted in both sexism and racism.”

Perhaps surprisingly, Newman has continued to work at Amazon during the legal process — partly because of a non-compete agreement she signed as part of the terms of her employment. Newman’s non-compete agreement prohibits her from taking similar roles for 18 months upon leaving Amazon. Non-compete agreements are rare in Silicon Valley because California does not allow them to be enforced, but tech workers elsewhere can face them, and Amazon is known for its strict non-competes. A current piece of legislation, the Workforce Mobility Act, aims to limit the use of them nationwide….

Newman wanted to leave Amazon… but the non-compete agreement she signed with the company made it hard to do that.

While employed and for the 18 months following separation from Amazon, employees are not able to engage in any work that competes or aims to compete with any Amazon product or service.

Amazon has its hands in variety of businesses, including ecommerce, cloud services, media, smart devices and so much more.

Amazon filed a lawsuit against the former vice president of marketing for Amazon Web Services (AWS) after he took a job at Google Cloud, alleging that he’d breached his non-compete agreement.

A judge in another Amazon case found certain aspects of the non-compete clause to be “unreasonable” and thus unenforceable.

One employee sued by Amazon said that before joining Amazon, he was told that Amazon wouldn’t enforce its non-compete, and that he relied on this statement in accepting a job with the company.

“At Will” Employment

Most employees at Amazon and other US companies are “at will.” This mean they can be fired at any time for any legal reason, or for no reason. They can also quit at any time.

Thus, simply firing someone for a legal reason isn’t usually a breach of an employment contract.

Employment Discrimination

As the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) explains, Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity)
  • National Origin

Thus, firing someone for discriminatory reasons is illegal – even if it isn’t a breach of contract.

You may also want to read our articles on discrimination on the basis of:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Marital Status
  • Pregnancy
  • Disability, including Mental Illness
  • Country of Origin
  • Credit History


Breaches of employment contracts at Amazon

As Westlaw reported,

A former Amazon warehouse employee who was licensed to use medical cannabis claims the firm fired him for failing a drug test even though he informed company personnel of his certification. …

Amazon also faces a claim for breach of contract and the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing for violating a verbal contract by “[holding] itself out” as employing people who take medical marijuana.”

What can you do if Amazon has breached your employment contract?

If Amazon has breached your employment contract, call attorney Cj Rosenbaum at 212-256-1109, text 212-256-8492, or email You can also submit a summary of your situation online.

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Rosenbaum, Famularo & Segall, P.C.

Telephone: 212-256-1109


Address: 138 East Park Ave. Long Beach, NY 11561

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