Report: Amazon tells its employees it is monitoring badge swipes

Sep 30, 2023, 9:07 AM

Seattle Amazon walkout...

Amazon workers walkout in protest of companies environmental promises and remote work policy (Photo from Kate Stone)

(Photo from Kate Stone)

Amazon says it is getting serious about its “get back to the office” policy, now monitoring individual badge swipes into office buildings.

Since May, the company has mandated that employees come to the office at least three days a week. Now, Amazon is keeping a closer eye on the situation to try to get employees to comply with the policy.

According to screenshots of an internal memo obtained by the Puget Sound Business Journal, the company notified employees Thursday it can now produce employee-level “badge reports.”

That means the ins and outs of employee movement can now be tracked by management. The reports go back eight weeks.

Related news: Amazon sued by FTC and 17 states over allegations it inflates online prices and overcharges sellers

This is a change in policy for Amazon. Until this week, reports were generated from an aggregated perspective and didn’t break them down to individual employees.

“This tool gives employees and managers visibility into the days they badged into a corporate building,” Amazon spokesperson Rob Munoz said in an emailed statement to the Puget Sound Business Journal. “The information will help guide conversations as needed between employees and managers about coming into the office with their colleagues.”

Amazon’s return-to-office policy has faced pushback from employees. There have been protests and walkouts.

During a pre-recorded internal Q&A session in August, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy told employees it was “past the time to disagree and commit” to the policy that requires corporate employees to be in the office three days a week. Jassy added it wasn’t right for some employees to be in the office three days a week while others refuse to do so.

The phrase “disagree and commit” is one of Amazon’s leadership principles and was used often by the company’s founder and current executive chairman, Jeff Bezos.

As far as the move towards monitoring individual badge swiping, the company did not respond to requests for comment.

Amazon has roughly 55,000 employees based in the downtown Seattle area, according to public records obtained from the city of Seattle by the Puget Sound Business Journal.

Contributing: The Associated Press

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Report: Amazon tells its employees it is monitoring badge swipes