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Amazon is under fire for alleged ‘silent sacking’ during layoffs.

Amazon is under fire for alleged ‘silent sacking’ during layoffs.

Justin Garrison’s senior position at Amazon Web Services (AWS) was eliminated on September 1, 2023. Despite continuing to receive paychecks, he has been in limbo for four months, with managers advising him to find a new position within the company or elsewhere. Garrison, a senior developer advocate at AWS for almost four years, sees this as part of a worrying trend at Amazon following layoffs and return-to-office plans announced earlier in the year.

Instead of mass firings, which could upset shareholders or result in expensive severance packages, Amazon is allegedly making employees’ lives difficult by enforcing return-to-office (RTO) policies or placing them in lower-paying or more junior positions. This tactic is often referred to as “quiet firing.” It entails gradually removing perks and benefits or neglecting certain employees to the point where they leave.

Garrison, an Amazon employee, coined the term’silent sacking’ to describe this practice in a recent blog post. He emphasised a lack of clarity about his role’s future since the summer, despite earlier assurances that RTO plans announced by Amazon CEO Andy Jassy in February would not affect his team.

Garrison, who began his remote job in April 2020, expressed frustration in recent months with the changing circumstances and lack of transparency from upper management.

He described his experience with a company policy known as’return-to-teams,’ which required employees to work from an office near their team.

After deciding on Vancouver, he was told that no work visa sponsorship was likely, making it an unsuitable option.

Shortly after, his team was disbanded, and despite a one-year’remote exception,’ Garrison was left with only about a month and a half of work at AWS. When he requested a severance package, which had previously been mentioned as an option, he was told to submit a proposal.

Garrison followed up on his severance request for the next two and a half months but received no response.

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