Amazon facilities have rules and policies that every associate must adhere to. Failure to do so might result in termination of employment.
Some policy violations – such as safety violations, fighting and threats (these are known as Category 1 infractions) – will warrant immediate and permanent termination, while others take multiple verbal and written warnings before being let go.
Information about violations that may lead to termination is provided during training.
This information can also be found on the employee policy handbook that is available on the web or on the A to Z app.
Reasons For Getting Fired From Amazon
Amazon has set policies that when violated by employees could result in termination. Some of these are (but are not limited to):
- Speeding/reckless driving in the parking lot. Amazon takes mishaps in the parking lot seriously because they could lead to damage of property, injury or even death. That is why things like speeding or driving on the wrong side of the parking lot can lead to immediate termination.
- Violating attendance policy. Not showing up to work without prior permission, showing up late or leaving too early are all offenses that can lead to termination. Remember that leaving more than five minutes early counts as 1 hour of UPT.
- Walking on the robotics floor. Only Amnesty associates and other specialists are allowed on the AR floors. These robots can travel at speeds that exceed 30mph, which is dangerous if they hit someone. It’s the reason why Amazon will not hesitate to fire associates who walk on the AR floor.
- Breaking traffic rules inside the facility e.g. cutting off PIT equipment or not walking on pedestrian designated lanes.
- Fighting and verbal threats. Fighting inside Amazon property is a big NO-NO and will lead to immediate termination. Verbal threats to coworkers are also highly frowned upon and are taken as seriously as fighting.
- Too many warnings/writeups or occurrences. Associates get verbal or written warnings for things such as low stowing rates, poor stowing quality and safety violations. Six writeups in a year results in automatic termination.
- Sleeping in the breakrooms & offices is frowned upon and many employees have been fired for it.
- Theft. Amazon facilities have loss prevention teams whose main job is to prevent stealing. There are also security cameras all around the facilities that are used to spot illegal activity. If an associate gets caught stealing, they are fired on the spot and may be banned from working at Amazon or any of its subsidiaries. It can also lead to prosecution.
- Time theft. When you are clocked in and supposed to be working but are not (and without authorization), then that is considered time theft. Some associates like to clock in in the parking lot and don’t go in until several minutes later. This is frowned upon by management and HR and could lead to termination.
- Negative UPT and attendance points (for white badges). Negative UPT is one of the most common reasons that Amazon associates get fired. As little as one hour below zero can get you terminated.
- If you find yourself at negative UPT, try talking to your HR office as they might be able to convert some of your vacation time (if you have it) to cover your negative UPT.
- Violating TOT policy. The maximum amount of TOT you can accumulate before getting termed will depend on the facility. In some locations, you get up to a 30 minute grace period before before being written up. Multiple hours of TOT at a time will get you fired in most Amazon locations.
- Riding down the conveyor belt. Horse play such as riding down the conveyor can lead to termination because it’s a risk to safety and property damage.
- PIT (powered industrial trucks) operation mistakes. For safety and liability reasons, Amazon takes PIT operation mistakes such as not hooking up on the OP, driving unauthorized equipment or not stopping at stop signs very seriously.
- Drinking or using drugs on Amazon facilities is considered a safety violation and will lead to immediate termination. You will also not be eligible for rehire at Amazon or any of its subsidiaries.
- Trailer docking and releasing (TDR) mishaps. TDR mishaps such as not disengaging the dock lock or jumping on the dock plate to push it down are a serious offense at Amazon facilities. This is because accidents at the docks can lead to serious injury. It is very easy to get fired over a TDR violation at Amazon.
You will be notified of your termination via email, after which HR will give you a call or ask to speak to you at work. At this stage, you might be able to make your case as to why you should not be fired, e.g., by explaining why you have negative UPT points.
In most cases, you can still continue to work while your termination is being finalized. If you can still badge into the building and the A to Z app says you are on schedule to work then you’re good to go.
You will also be compensated for these hours worked. Otherwise, you will not be able to log in to the A to Z app once you have been terminated.
Rehire Policy After Termination
Amazon does frequently rehire associates who have previously been fired at its facilities.
In most locations, you have to wait at least 90 days until you are eligible for rehire. If you resign in good standing you are immediate eligible for rehire.
Whether you are eligible for rehire or not depends on the severity of the reason(s) for termination. In some cases, you may be permanently banned from being rehired at Amazon or any of its facilities if you were termed for any of these reasons:
- Safety violations
- Property damage
- Time theft -treated like any other theft
- Taking “The Offer”. Every year, (around February) Amazon gives its associate the chance to resign and receive a pay out for it. If you take this offer, you are banned from working at Amazon or any of it’s subsidiaries for life.
Associates are given the chance to appeal after getting fired, which is highly advisable since you have nothing to lose by appealing, especially if you have a good case.
For the appeal, you can request to be heard by a panel of your peers, i.e., fellow T1 associates and PAs or by an individual higherup. In some situations you might have a better outcome if you are heard by a higherup instead of a panel. This depends on your facility, though.
It is very important to keep important documentation that might help you during the appeal process. Things like email and A to Z app screenshots with metadata (such as time and date) are very useful as evidence to support your arguments.
An essential element of the appeal process is demonstrating that the punishment, i.e., termination, was not applied fairly and consistently.
If you can prove that other associates have made the same violations and haven’t been fired, you might be able to win the appeal.
It is possible to get terminated at no fault of your own. HR or their systems can make mistakes sometimes. For example, you might get negative UPT for a day you were not supposed to be working .
In such situations, it is advisable to call ERC. They will help in sorting out your situation. HR will also refund UPT hours that were subtracted erroneously.
What Happens After Getting Fired From Amazon
Your health insurance is covered through the end of the month you’re fired in. For example, if you were let go on 15th of January, your insurance would last until 31st of January.
You will not be able to log into the A to Z app once you lose your job at Amazon.
After being fired, you have to wait at least 90 days before you can reapply. Once you get back to Amazon, you are going to start over again as if you were a new employee.