Amazon is a major employer across the United States, employing 950,000 workers nationwide. However, Amazon is known for being strict with their employees and practicing methods some believe to be unethical.
Therefore, many Amazon shoppers and potential staff may wonder what Amazon’s ethics policy is and how it affects their employees. If you’d like to find out, keep reading this article to see what I learned!
Amazon Ethics Policy
Amazon’s ethics policy states that they attempt to promote a safe and healthy workplace free of harassment and danger and that they promote the freedom for their staff members to conduct their duties unhindered. Additionally, their policy states that they strongly discourage any behavior, not in the best interest of staff or their customers.
If you’d like to learn more about Amazon’s ethics department, if they follow their Ethics Code of Conduct, if they’re really an ethical company and more, keep reading for more useful facts, tips, and information!
Is Amazon an Ethical Company?
Because Amazon faces continued backlash for the treatment of their staff, many Amazon employees and customers regard the company as being unethical.
However, while Amazon may struggle with ethics internally, the company is very active in ethical causes such as the Climate Pledge, racial equality, support for the disabled, and STEM programs.
Therefore, while Amazon may have ethical issues to solve within the workplace, the company does contribute to a number of causes that improve its ethical standing within the e-commerce community.
Customers and potential staff should note, though, that because Amazon is not considered a favorable place of work, the company may not be regarded by most as being fully ethical yet, despite their external efforts.
Does Amazon Have Ethical Issues?
While Amazon does well with supporting ethical problems outside the workplace, many staff members, former employees, and other businesses have noted some ongoing ethical problems within the company.
For example, Amazon is known for evading taxes and implementing legal loopholes to lower its tax bill throughout the year and through all of its international websites.
In 2011, for example, Amazon generated 2.9 billion pounds in the UK and only paid 1.8 million pounds in taxes, which resulted in a boycott from some ethics-based companies.
While Amazon has not evaded their tax bill illegally, many consider their practices during the tax season to be unethical, as they pay very little in comparison to the revenue they generate every year.
As well, Amazon is known for being unethical in regards to the environment. Amazon’s sustainability reports often do not include the environmental impact of a variety of their products and textiles, which demonstrates the company as not having an understanding of their main impacts.
Additionally, Amazon is known for allowing furs and other animal materials to be sold on their website, that has been produced through animal cruelty practices.
Therefore, while Amazon has been making strides with its participation in certain ethical causes, it’s reasonable to conclude that the company still has some ethical issues to resolve internally.
Does Amazon Have an Ethics Department?
Amazon does have an ethics team affiliated with its legal department, which was established in 1996.
Their Business Code of Conduct and Ethics states that employees should act lawfully, ethically, and in the best interests of Amazon.com.
Amazon makes provision for any illegal or unethical behavior to be reported to their legal department. While this statement is made specifically for employees, customers, and business partners may also take advantage of this system.
What Is Included in Amazon’s Code of Business Conduct and Ethics?
Amazon’s Code of Business Conduct and Ethics has statements and rules regarding the following:
- Compliance With Laws, Rules and Regulations
- Conflicts of Interest
- Insider Trading Policy
- Discrimination and Harassment
- Health and Safety
- Price Fixing
- Bribery; Payments to Government Personnel
- Recordkeeping, Reporting, and Financial Integrity
- Questions: Reporting Violations
- Periodic Certification
- Board of Directors
Each of these categories in the Code of Conduct and Ethics has its own individual statements and rules regarding Amazon’s position on the topic.
For example, Amazon’s ethics policy regarding discrimination states that Amazon.com provides equal opportunity in all areas of employment and will not tolerate illegal discrimination or harassment of any kind.
As well, Amazon’s Ethics policy has a strong statement against bribery of any kind in order to retain business for the company.
In addition to these statements, Amazon’s Code of Conduct and Ethics has outlined a strong list of ethical policies that workers are expected to follow at all times.
Does Amazon Follow Its Ethics Code of Conduct?
While Amazon’s ethics policy has outlined very detailed policies the company expects workers to follow, many employees and other individuals have noted that the company itself does not always stick to its Code of Conduct.
For example, in 2020, Amazon faced a lawsuit for discrimination and violation of civil rights in direct opposition to their policy about not tolerating illegal discrimination.
This lawsuit stated that Amazon was putting ethnic people in the line of danger while favoring predominantly white employees in regard to certain health risks and practices.
Therefore, while Amazon strives to uphold its ethics policy, they do not always follow the individual policies that it has outlined, causing both staff and customers to regard the company as being unethical.
Does Amazon Have an Ethics Hotline?
While Amazon has areas to improve upon regarding ethics, they do provide an Ethics Hotline for their employees to report any misconduct or illegal actions that go against the company’s ethics policy.
Customers and staff members who have an incident to report to Amazon’s ethics hotline can call it at 1877-781-2416.