An Amazon Prime Truck in downtown Seattle near Amazon HQ. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)
Amazon faces numerous lawsuits alleging that the company has created a culture that discriminates against black, Latin American, and Native American office workers.
A total of five lawsuits allege that the company systematically evades minority groups in order to be promoted in favor of white employees. One of the lawsuits filed by an Amazon Human Resources representative alleges that there is data to support the claim that black, Latin American, and Native American workers are not being promoted at the same rate as their white counterparts.
The five lawsuits were filed by women who worked or worked for the retail giant, including two Seattle employees, the Seattle Times reported. The lawsuits are not limited to promotions, but collectively describe incidents of inappropriate managerial behavior, harassment and racial discrimination.
An Amazon spokesman said the matter had been investigated internally and no issues were discovered.
“We are conducting thorough investigations into each of these unrelated cases, as we do with all reported incidents, and we have not found any evidence to support the allegations,” the spokesman said. “Amazon works hard to promote a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture.”
Recode reported that women, “between the ages of 20 and 60,” also claim white managers retaliated when they initially filed complaints with the company. Among the applicants, one is white, one is Latina, one is Asian-American, and two are black. Three of the women will stay with the company.
The spokesman said the lawsuits are inconsistent with the type of job Amazon is cultivating. “We do not tolerate any form of discrimination or harassment, and employees are encouraged to raise concerns to senior management or through an anonymous ethics line without the risk of retaliation.”
According to recoding, one of the lawsuits was from 64-year-old Pearl Thomas, who works in HR.
Thomas said, “Her head of HR at Amazon Web Services, Keith DurJava, approached her with the ‘n-word’ after appearing to believe she had disconnected from a video call.”
She added that another manager told her, “You don’t want to be a bad black woman,” and that her boss put her on a performance review plan following the post-lawsuit complaint.
Amazon, which had sales of more than $ 100 billion during the pandemic and grew to 1.2 million employees worldwide, has been heavily criticized in recent months, ranging from hires and promotions that overlook women and minorities towards union breaks in Bessemer, Ala.
Amazon has denied all of these claims.