Amazon employees who don’t abide by the company’s return-to-office mandate could jeopardize their pursuit of promotions.
Amazon’s leadership recently added a requirement that employees under consideration for promotions be in the office at least three times per week to comply with the company’s mandate that went into effect earlier this year, according to internal Amazon documents previously reported by Insider and CNBC.
The policy shift now requires a vice president's approval, rather than just a manager’s, to promote an employee who isn’t complying with the requirement to work from the office. Amazon’s managers and the company’s human resources team are also monitoring compliance as they evaluate an employee’s "promotion readiness" per the reports.
"Promotions are one of the many ways we support employees’ growth and development, and there are a variety of factors we consider when determining an employee’s readiness for the next level," an Amazon spokesperson told FOX Business.
"Like any company, we expect employees who are being considered for promotion to be in compliance with company guidelines and policies."
Amazon has a process in place for employees to request an exception to work remotely and has said it considers such requests on a case-by-case basis as it did before the pandemic. Promotions for employees who don’t regularly work in the office are also subject to additional leadership approval.
CEO Andy Jassy first announced in February that Amazon planned to ask employees to return to the office at least three days per week as the company reviewed the various work arrangements teams used during the pandemic, including fully remote, hybrid with a few days in the office each week and full-time in the office.
Jassy wrote in a letter to employees at the time that those factors have "led us to conclude that we should go back to being in the office together the majority of the time (at least three days per week)."
At the time, Jassy said the requirement to work from the office at least three days a week would have exceptions like the company’s pre-pandemic policy allowed. Although, he indicated such exceptions would be rare among the company’s workforce.
"Of course, as there were before the pandemic, there will still be certain roles (e.g. some of our salespeople, customer support, etc.) and exceptions to these expectations, but that will be a small minority," Jassy wrote.
Amazon's return-to-office requirement became effective May 1, but the mandate sparked pushback from employees, some walking out in protest and over 30,000 signing an internal petition this spring that was rebuffed by management.
The e-commerce behemoth employs more than 1.46 million people worldwide and has a network of offices that includes its home base in Seattle and its second headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.
FOX Business’s Aislinn Murphy and Breck Dumas contributed to this report.