Amazon threatened employees by telling them to fire two employees who were outspoken and opposed to the company’s environmental policies, according to a group of Amazon employees. Amazon Employees For Climate Justice said in a statement on Twitter that Amazon’s legal and human resources representatives contacted several employees who they said violated the company’s external communications policy. Two employees were told they would lose their jobs if they continued to talk about Amazon.
The user experience designer, Maren Costa, is one of two employees. “This is not the time to shoot the messenger, now is not the time for the outspoken to stop the word,” Costa said in a statement. Also under threat was software development engineer Jamie Kowalski. Costa and Kowalski said they spoke openly about the company’s affairs in October and later received a letter from Amazon’s lawyers.
Amazon climate justice said it changed its policy last September to require early approval for employees to talk about Amazon in public forums as employees.
But Jaci Anderson, an Amazon spokesman, says the company’s communication policy is not new. In September, Amazon set up a new block on its internal website where employees can apply, making it easier for them to speak freely; The spokeswoman added that Amazon encourages employees to resolve issues within the team, where they can provide input and improve the company’s operations through internal channels.