Amazon worker says he received daily texts about losing paid time off while he was sick with COVID-19

Amazon worker says he received daily texts about losing paid time off while he was sick with COVID-19
An employee scans packages at Amazon's JFK8 distribution center in Staten Island, New York, US November 25, 2020.REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
  • An Amazon worker told NBC he received daily automated texts while off sick with COVID-19.
  • The texts told him the shifts he was missing were being deducted from his allotted paid time off.

Amazon's automated HR systems led to at least one worker being pestered with messages while he was off sick with COVID-19, NBC reports.

Illinois Amazon warehouse worker Drew Duzinskas told NBC he tested positive for COVID-19 over the holidays. He said he notified Amazon, but that for days afterwards he received automated texts from the company telling him his balance of paid time off was going down because he was missing shifts.

"They have a self-service kind of HR system," Duzinskas told NBC, adding, "That seems to be their goal — to kind of take the human out of human resources."


It is not clear from NBC's report whether the time had in fact been deducted from Duzinskas' allotted paid time off. Amazon did not immediately respond when contacted by Insider.

Amazon cut the amount of paid time off workers get when off sick with COVID-19 from ten to seven days last week, following new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control.

Amazon workers also told NBC they have struggled to obtain COVID-19 tests since the company stopped onsite testing in July, combined with the onset of the omicron variant.


Other workers told NBC they had difficulty getting through to HR, and a contract worker who works on Amazon's COVID-19 employee hotline said the number of calls have become overwhelming. "At one point, we had 1,700 calls holding," the contractor told NBC.

Amazon's HR systems have come under fire before, in particular its payroll system, which was revealed to be shortchanging workers by an internal investigation first reported by The New York Times.