Amazon employees who won't work from the office three days a week will be fired

David Ryder

Amazon managers have given the green light to fire employees who won't work from the office three days a week.

Giant US companies have been grappling with returning employees to their offices, but Amazon is boldly moving. The retail giant now allows supervisors to terminate workers who resist its directives to return to the office.

In new guidelines for managers, seen by Insider, the tech giant gave leaders more freedom to take disciplinary action against employees who fail to show up in person at least three days a week.

The updated guidance was reportedly shared with Amazon managers via an internal system earlier this week.

According to Insider, the updates directed managers to have a private conversation with any employee who doesn't meet the minimum requirements within the office. These discussions should be documented in a follow-up email, the guidance said.

Managers were told that if employees continued to ignore internal rules after these initial meetings, they should schedule another meeting with the employee where they could take disciplinary action, including letting them go.

"If an employee does not demonstrate immediate and sustained attendance after the first conversation, managers should have a follow-up discussion within a reasonable time frame (depending on the employee's condition, approximately one to two weeks)," the guidelines state.

"This conversation will: 1) reinforce that returning to the office more than three days a week is a requirement of their job, and 2) make clear that continued non-compliance without a legitimate reason may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of your employment."

In February, the company told its employees they would be expected to be in the office most days of the week starting in May of this year.

"Collaboration and innovation are easier and more effective in person," CEO Andy Jassy wrote in an internal memo. "Energy and interaction with each other's thoughts happen more freely."

However, Amazon's return to the office could have been smoother.

The return-to-office mandate has been met with opposition from employees, with more than 28,000 Amazon workers joining an internal Slack channel called "Remote Advocacy." Thousands of employees also signed a petition and went on strike to protest the back-to-office campaign.

Although many employees opposed Amazon's RTO rules, the company and its leadership did not back down from the mandate.

"We're always listening and will continue to do so, but we're pleased with what the first month has been like with more people back in the office," Amazon spokesman Brad Glaser told Fortune in June. "We realize it will take some time to adjust to being in the office more."

Meanwhile, Jassy noted in August that the outlook for employees who refused to comply with the rules was bleak.

"If you can't disagree and commit, it's probably not going to work for you at Amazon," he said.

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