Amazon HR Technology Gives Employees Devastating Time / Pay Issues

By Samantha Rosenbaum  / November 17th 2023

In 2020, Cindy Warner joined the corporate staff at Amazon Web Services (AWS), bringing with her over 30 years of executive experience in the tech industry. Initially recruited heavily by AWS, she anticipated being part of a changing culture with increased diversity, with opportunities presented for high-level positions within the company.

However, after just a year, Warner began reassessing the workplace culture at Amazon. In 2021, she filed a lawsuit against Amazon, alleging pay discrimination and describing a culture marked by sexism and homophobia. Warner, who identifies as gay, claimed her male colleagues fostered a “white boys’ club” and subjected her to open hostility, leading to her termination after facing torment from peers for 15 months, which she described as retaliatory.

Warner also asserted that she was specifically targeted due to her efforts to enhance diversity, particularly for women, as she had been mentoring women within the company before her firing. This lawsuit is one among several filed by current and former employees over allegations of discrimination around the same time.

Amazon, however, disputes Warner’s claims, stating that an investigation by AWS found her allegations inaccurate. The company maintained that Warner was encouraged to find another job within AWS before being terminated, rather than being forced out after facing a toxic workplace.

Starting at Amazon’s subsidiary ProServe in 2020, Warner claimed she was placed in a lower tier than she was qualified for and faced obstacles in applying for higher-tier positions. She believed this hindered her chances of promotion and led to a loss of income. Amazon countered these claims, asserting that Warner was not promised regular promotions and that employees are reviewed internally for promotions rather than being selected through applications.

Warner’s lawsuit detailed regular harassment from male colleagues, including derogatory comments and homophobic remarks. Amazon, however, refuted these claims, stating that its investigation found them untrue.

This pattern of behavior at Amazon is not unique, according to attorney Lawrence Pearson, who argued that the company allows its managers to mistreat employees, particularly women and people of color. Other incidents reported by Laudon Williams in his blog post “Why I Left AWS” highlighted discriminatory incidents during his time at Amazon, with Warner claiming that the blog shook AWS internally and led to increased inappropriate behavior.

In response to these allegations, over 550 Amazon employees signed a petition urging the company to investigate the underlying culture of systemic discrimination against women, people of color, and other under-represented groups. AWS CEO Andy Selipsky committed to an investigation, but no specific timeframe was provided.

Despite verbal commitments to improve, critics argue that Amazon’s actions do not align with its promises. Jeff Bezos, the company’s founder, acknowledged the need for improvement, but doubts persist about the effectiveness of such measures.

As Warner continues her job search amid the ongoing case, she reflects on her experience, stating, “After what I would consider has been a very storied career, this has been a horror show, and I relive it every day. When you go through something like this, it really changes you. It doesn’t go away.” If others are facing similar issues at Amazon, Warner encourages them to reach out for support.

If you feel you are unable to voice your concerns about your working conditions at Amazon, contact us for further assistance at: CJ@AmazonSellersLawyer.com

Our Amazon Employment Law Division can assist you in three ways:

(1) Do It Yourself: Knowledge & Forms;

(2) Done With You: Knowledge, Forms and Attorney Help Editing the Documents; and

(3) Done For You: We meet with you and draft the documents for you. We may also, in some cases, offer to fully represent the client.

 

Amazon HR Technology Gives Employees Devastating Time / Pay Issues

By Samantha Rosenbaum  / November 17th 2023

In 2020, Cindy Warner joined the corporate staff at Amazon Web Services (AWS), bringing with her over 30 years of executive experience in the tech industry. Initially recruited heavily by AWS, she anticipated being part of a changing culture with increased diversity, with opportunities presented for high-level positions within the company.

However, after just a year, Warner began reassessing the workplace culture at Amazon. In 2021, she filed a lawsuit against Amazon, alleging pay discrimination and describing a culture marked by sexism and homophobia. Warner, who identifies as gay, claimed her male colleagues fostered a “white boys’ club” and subjected her to open hostility, leading to her termination after facing torment from peers for 15 months, which she described as retaliatory.

Warner also asserted that she was specifically targeted due to her efforts to enhance diversity, particularly for women, as she had been mentoring women within the company before her firing. This lawsuit is one among several filed by current and former employees over allegations of discrimination around the same time.

Amazon, however, disputes Warner’s claims, stating that an investigation by AWS found her allegations inaccurate. The company maintained that Warner was encouraged to find another job within AWS before being terminated, rather than being forced out after facing a toxic workplace.

Starting at Amazon’s subsidiary ProServe in 2020, Warner claimed she was placed in a lower tier than she was qualified for and faced obstacles in applying for higher-tier positions. She believed this hindered her chances of promotion and led to a loss of income. Amazon countered these claims, asserting that Warner was not promised regular promotions and that employees are reviewed internally for promotions rather than being selected through applications.

Warner’s lawsuit detailed regular harassment from male colleagues, including derogatory comments and homophobic remarks. Amazon, however, refuted these claims, stating that its investigation found them untrue.

This pattern of behavior at Amazon is not unique, according to attorney Lawrence Pearson, who argued that the company allows its managers to mistreat employees, particularly women and people of color. Other incidents reported by Laudon Williams in his blog post “Why I Left AWS” highlighted discriminatory incidents during his time at Amazon, with Warner claiming that the blog shook AWS internally and led to increased inappropriate behavior.

In response to these allegations, over 550 Amazon employees signed a petition urging the company to investigate the underlying culture of systemic discrimination against women, people of color, and other under-represented groups. AWS CEO Andy Selipsky committed to an investigation, but no specific timeframe was provided.

Despite verbal commitments to improve, critics argue that Amazon’s actions do not align with its promises. Jeff Bezos, the company’s founder, acknowledged the need for improvement, but doubts persist about the effectiveness of such measures.

As Warner continues her job search amid the ongoing case, she reflects on her experience, stating, “After what I would consider has been a very storied career, this has been a horror show, and I relive it every day. When you go through something like this, it really changes you. It doesn’t go away.” If others are facing similar issues at Amazon, Warner encourages them to reach out for support.

If you feel you are unable to voice your concerns about your working conditions at Amazon, contact us for further assistance at: CJ@AmazonSellersLawyer.com

Our Amazon Employment Law Division can assist you in three ways:

(1) Do It Yourself: Knowledge & Forms;

(2) Done With You: Knowledge, Forms and Attorney Help Editing the Documents; and

(3) Done For You: We meet with you and draft the documents for you. We may also, in some cases, offer to fully represent the client.

 

Rosenbaum, Famularo & Segall, P.C.

Telephone: 212-256-1109

Email: CJ@AmazonSellersLawyer.com

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

Copyright 2021 – Rosenbaum, Famularo & Segall, P.C., the law firm behind Amazon Sellers Lawyer – All Rights Reserved – New York – Shenzhen – Yiwu

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