Amazon will implement racial equality checks on its hourly workers

Amazon will perform a racial equity audit of its nearly one million hourly employees, the company said last week in a for shareholders. The company is hiring a law firm to conduct the audit, which will be led by former US Attorney General Loretta Lynch and be made public. But some critics say the audit should extend to the company level, rather than Amazon’s more traditionally diverse warehouse workers.

“Before you applaud this step, read the fine print. This audit will not include negative Amazon practices affecting Black employees at the corporate level. That’s a big mark,” Technology entrepreneur Charlotte Newman, a former employee of the company, once sued the company for racial and gender discrimination.

Amazon has made it clear that the purpose of the audit will be to study whether there are any racist effects from its policies. “The focus of the audit will be on assessing any racist impact on our nearly one million hourly employees from our policies, programs and practices,” the company said. company said in its statement.

Decision after Amazon investors rejected 11 proposals from shareholders to improve equity and racial diversity at the company. One of the rejected proposals would invite an hourly employee to join Amazon’s board.

“Amazon’s board of directors lacks representation from hourly employees who have a thorough understanding of the company’s day-to-day operations. Women and ethnic minorities, which make up a large proportion of Amazon’s hourly associates, are also relatively underrepresented at the board level, remaining largely male and white,” the paper’s author said. write output.

Amazon’s board of directors recommended not voting on the proposal. “Our current process for identifying and nominating directors has successfully recruited quality and diversity directors with extensive human resource management experience,” the board wrote.

Another rejected proposal called for a broader racial examination of Amazon’s corporate and hourly workforce. A large percentage of Amazon’s hourly employees are women and minorities, and its workforce is overwhelmingly white. Nearly 60% of Amazon’s lowest hourly employees are black or Hispanic, by 2021 review demographic data for the past two years. More than half of Amazon’s hourly workers are women. Meanwhile, Amazon’s highest-paid workers are white or Asian and male.

The company had to face from current and former employees who believe they face racial and gender discrimination in the workplace. Back in February, a New York federal judge dismissed a conducted by a former Amazon warehouse manager about its Covid-19 policies.

Amazon is scheduled to hold its annual shareholder meeting on May 25, where investors will vote on a number of proposals on racial equity and healthcare. Amazon has advised shareholders to vote against a proposal requiring a full top-down audit of the entire company’s racial equity.

“There is no public evidence that Amazon is assessing the actual or potential negative effects of its policies, practices, products, and services through the lens of racial equity.” shareholder proposal.

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