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Amazon Says It Will Fire Employees Who Violate Social Distancing Guidelines

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Amazon has told its warehouse employees that it would begin firing employees who “intentionally violate” its social distancing guidelines. The company is facing increasing demand as it continues to provide essential services amid the COVID-19 pandemic.


A statement from an Amazon spokesperson read;


“We’ve had some instances of employees intentionally violating our clear guidelines on social distancing at our sites, which endangers both the individual and their colleagues.


Individuals who intentionally violate our social distancing guidelines will receive two warnings on the second documented offense, termination may occur.


We are taking intense measures to ensure the health and safety of employees across our sites who are performing an essential role for their communities during this crisis.”


Amazon says it is staggering shift times and adding distance between delivery drivers and customers as part of measures to ensure social distancing and keep its employees safe.


The company also says it is deploying its “top machine learning technologists” to identify areas where it can improve social distancing in its facilities. It aims to achieve this by relying on internal camera systems.

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– Amazon Staten Island Workers Plan Strike Over Health Concerns In The Facility
Amazon new workers
An Amazon Fulfilment center. Photo: Bloomberg News.

Amazon’s social distancing guidelines “impossible”

However, some employees told Business Insider that the social distancing guidelines are “impossible” in practice. They fear that the company’s adjustments are not enough to protect them from the coronavirus.


The workers have also expressed the fear of going to work, labeling Amazon’s facilities as “breeding ground” for the virus.


Last week, The company fired a worker from its Staten Island, New York facility. The employee, Christian Smalls, was said to have “received multiple warnings for violating social distancing guidelines”.


He was fired after attending a worker protest, which he had helped to organise. This, despite being under a 14-day quarantine, according to an Amazon spokesperson.


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