Amazon Will Fire Employees Who Refuse To Work From Office

Shreya Bose

Shreya Bose

Oct 23, 2023

Amazon has started calling employees back to offices for three days a week. 

Amazon Will Fire Employees Who Refuse To Work From Office

It has made this mandatory and has empowered managers to fire those who refuse to comply.

Strict mandate

This comes nearly a month after CEO Andy Jassy said the prospects of employees who refused to work from office were dim.

“If you can’t disagree and commit, it’s probably not going to work out for you at Amazon,” he said.

The company shared guidelines and manager talking points through an internal portal earlier this week.

Managers are directed to follow a three-step process.

3-Step process

According to the guidelines, managers first have to engage in a private conversation with employees who don’t comply with the three-times-a-week requirement.

The conversation is intended to make clear that returning to office three days a week is a requirement of their job.

It has to be made clear that continued non-compliance without a reason they may find acceptable may lead to disciplinary action including termination of the employment.

The managers will then have to document the discussion in a follow-up email.

If the employee still does not comply, the manager should hold a second meeting within a reasonable time frame, typically one to two weeks, warning that continued non-compliance without a legitimate reason may result in termination.

In the final step, an HR representative may be involved who may issue a written warning or other actions, ultimately leading to termination if non-compliance persists.

Sample email

It has provided a sample documentation template for managers to use when initiating follow-up meetings with employees who refuse to come into the office regularly.

Managers in non-US countries are told to consult with their HR partner “as the template will vary by country.”

[Employee Name],

I’m following up with you after our return-to-office conversation on [INSERT DATE]. 

I want to ensure the expectations and next steps are clear. 

During our discussion, I sought to understand if there are any particular challenges you are experiencing that are keeping you from returning to the office at least three days a week.

Based on our discussion, it is my understanding there are not. 

Instead, [CHOOSE either a or b: a) you have not complied with Amazon’s return to office expectations since our last conversation; b) you have made clear that you do not intend to adhere to Amazon’s return-to-office expectations.]

As we discussed, returning to the office at least three days a week is in the best interest of our customers, our company, and our team members. 

If you do not adhere to this expectation within two weeks [by INSERT DATE FOR THE FRIDAY TWO WEEKS IN THE FUTURE], you will receive formal corrective action. 

After that time, if you do not meet and maintain sustained compliance with returning to the office at least three days a week, you will be subject to further discipline, up to and including termination of your employment.

If you have any questions or would prefer to work together on solutions that enable you to meet Amazon’s return-to-office expectations, please let me know as soon as possible. We’ll meet again after two weeks to discuss your progress.

[Manager Name]

Shreya Bose
Shreya Bose
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