Last Updated on May 26, 2021
National File has obtained photographs from a source at Amazon’s Seattle headquarters that are purported to reveal the company’s plan to assign a green checkmark to employees who provide proof they received one of the controversial COVID-19 vaccines. Those with the green checkmark may then receive a special vaccine sticker to place on their Amazon ID badge. Those without the sticker will be singled out and forced to wear face masks.
Photographs of what appears to be an Amazon corporate communication provided to National File reveals that “starting May 24 fully vaccinated U.S. corporate employees will no longer be required to wear face coverings at the office”, however, Amazon employees will be forced to prove their vaccination status and carry a special sticker proving it at all times.
Employees must visit Amazon’s company portal, “follow the instructions to verify your vaccination” and then “will receive a green check mark screen in A to Z.” Employees must then “show your green check mark screen to Reception, who will provide you with a sticker” that must then be placed “on the back of your badge.”
Amazon employees who “choose not to be vaccinated” are informed that “current CDC and local government guidance require you to wear a face covering while in the office.” Amazon employees who “do not want to” or are “unable to wear a face covering” are instructed to “please continue working from home until June 30, 2021.” If employees cannot work from home and “do not comply with face covering guidance” then their case “may be escalated to the management team.”
In its face mask recommendations, Amazon suggests employees wear “3-ply face coverings (3 layers of material within the single face cover)”, and “choose a face cover with a nose wire (metal strip along top of material) to prevent air from leaking out” and even recommends double masking. “If comfortable and not impactful to your ability to breathe, wear two face coverings (e.g., disposable mask underneath AND cloth mask on top)”.
National File’s source, who is embedded at the company’s Seattle headquarters, explains that AtoZ is Amazon’s internal directory. Employees’ vaccination status will be available in this directory and in the form of the special sticker applied to each employee’s ID badge. “When going to an office, it states to show the green checkmark screen to reception who will provide the sticker, then to place the sticker on the back of your badge,” said National File’s source. “So if you don’t provide a vaccine card or proof and get a sticker you have to wear a mask.”
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos recently admitted the company should “do a better job” providing for its employees, and vowed to make Amazon the “earth’s best employer and earth’s safest place to work.” Following an attempt at unionization in Alabama, Bezos wrote, “it’s clear to me that we need a better vision for our employees’ success”. Bezos’s statement followed those made by employees at its Bessemer facility suggesting Amazon treats its employees like “prisoners” and “robots.” Bezos characterized these statements as “not accurate.”
National File contacted Amazon to determine if these photographs are an accurate depiction of Amazon’s requirements, and whether the company believes it is appropriate to publicly identify employees based on their vaccination status. Additionally, National File asked whether Amazon allows those with tests showing COVID-19 antibodies that suggest natural immunity to receive a sticker, and whether Amazon will remove the stickers, or provide additional stickers, if booster shots or annual inoculations become part of the CDC guidance, as both Moderna and Pfizer have suggested may be necessary.
Amazon did not respond to National File questions, and instead provided what National File believes to be a boilerplate response from a spokesperson that notes “Fully-vaccinated U.S. corporate employees are no longer required to wear face masks if they decide to work from the office unless mandated by state or local law” and encourages employees to receive one of the controversial COVID-19 vaccines. Amazon also told National File that returning to the office is optional, and vaccinated employees – who are apparently identified by the special sticker – are welcome to continue wearing face masks.
This article was updated to reflect a statement from an Amazon spokesperson provided to National File.