Amazon Blocks Promotions for Non-Compliant Office Return

Amazon has recently implemented a new policy linking employee promotions to their adherence to the company’s return-to-office (RTO) mandate. According to internal communications accessed by Insider, Amazon requires employees who are candidates for promotion to be present in the office at least three days a week. 

Failure to comply with this policy necessitates VP approval for their advertisements, or they risk being blocked.

This policy was detailed in an internal announcement last month, emphasizing the manager’s role in the promotion process and the expectation of compliance with the office attendance requirement. 

An email and Slack message revealed that Amazon had blocked an employee’s promotion due to non-compliance with the attendance requirements.

Amazon’s spokesperson clarified to Insider that office attendance compliance is among several factors considered for employee promotions. 

The company views promotions as a key aspect of employee growth and expects those considered for advancement to adhere to company guidelines and policies.

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Amazon’s Controversial RTO Policy

Amazon has recently implemented a new policy linking employee promotions to their adherence to the company’s return-to-office (RTO) mandate.

This update is part of Amazon’s broader and contentious approach to its RTO policy. Last month, Amazon granted managers the discretion to terminate employees who refuse to comply with the RTO mandate. 

This policy applies particularly to those considered for promotions, who are expected to discuss their non-compliance with managers. If they fail to meet the office attendance requirements, managers can proceed with termination.

Amazon’s RTO policy has faced resistance from employees since its announcement in February. Initially requiring corporate employees to be in the office three days a week starting in May, the mandate led to over 30,000 employees signing an internal petition and staging walkouts. 

Many employees hired as fully remote workers during the pandemic view this mandate as a departure from earlier flexible working arrangements.

In July, Amazon intensified its stance, instructing remote employees to relocate near office hubs or consider a “voluntary resignation” package.

By September, the company began sharing individual attendance records, a shift from its previous policy of tracking only anonymized data. The company also informed managers of their authority to fire non-compliant employees.

The updated promotion guidelines emphasize two main factors: the capacity of an employee’s role to be performed at the next level and the employee’s consistent demonstration of next-level performance. 

This approach, as described in the internal note, underscores the uniqueness of the promotion journey for each Amazon employee.

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