Ethics has become essential to any business or company, and Amazon is not exceptional. A code of ethics helps companies to establish and govern the conduct of people interacting with the company, from customers to employees and stakeholders. It helps promote integrity among employees while building trust among key stakeholders like investors and consumers.
Like any other major employer across the United States, Amazon has not only a large number of employees but also worldwide customers. However, its continuous controversies make some believe that it's an unethical company. Therefore, as an Amazon customer or potential employee, you may wonder what Amazon's ethics policy is. In this article, we'll help you understand Amazon's ethics policy and how it affects its employees.
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What is the Amazon Ethics Policy?
According to Amazon Ethic's policy, Amazon promotes the freedom for employees to perform their duties unhindered by creating a safe and healthy workplace that is free from harassment and danger.
The Amazon Ethics Policy further emphasizes that Amazon discourages behaviors that are not in the best interest of Amazon or their customers, suppliers, or employees. Amazon uses its code of ethics to encourage and enforce strict adherence to the law.
What is Amazon's Code of Business Conduct and Ethics?
Amazon's Code of Business Conduct and Ethics mandates that Amazon employees should always act lawfully, ethically, and in the best interests of Amazon when performing their job duties. Therefore, it contains guiding principles that cover the following subjects:
- Compliance with laws, rules, and regulations: this mandates all Amazon employees to follow applicable laws, rules, and regulations at all times
- Conflicts of interest: where employees are required to use their judgment to act, at all times and in all ways that favor the best interests of Amazon
- Insider trading policy: This prohibits Amazon employees from trading in stock or other securities while having material information that is not known or available to the public.
- Discrimination and harassment: in which Amazon provides equal employment opportunities and has zero tolerance for any illegal discrimination or harassment of any kind.
- Health and safety: States that Amazon provides a clean, safe and healthy work environment which its employees must maintain
- Price fixing: amazon employees cannot make or discuss any formal or informal agreements with any of Amazon's competitors.
- Bribery; Payments to government personnel: employees are not allowed to bribe anyone for any reason, whether in dealings with governments or the private sector.
- Recordkeeping, Reporting, and Financial Integrity: Amazon books, records, accounts, and financial statements must be maintained in appropriate detail and reflects the company's transactions
- Questions; Reporting Violations: Employees should speak to someone in their management chain or the Legal Department in case of any inquiries
- Periodic Certification: Amazon's Legal Department will periodically designate certain employees based on their level of responsibility or the nature of their work
- Board of Directors: Amazon's Board of Directors must comply with the relevant provisions of this Code of Conduct.
- Waivers: The waiver of Amazon's code of conduct can only be done in a manner permitted by the law
Generally, Amazon's Code of Conduct and Ethics covers the ethical policies that its employees should always follow.
What is the Amazon Ethics Hotline?
Amazon allows its employees to report any misconduct or illegal actions that do not abide by its ethics policy through its Ethics Hotline. Therefore, customers and staff members can raise their concerns to the Amazon ethics hotline by calling it at 1877-781-2416. Amazon's ethics hotline allows you to submit your complaint anonymously.
Does Amazon Have an Ethics Department?
Established in 1996, Amazon's ethics department is its Legal Department. Amazon expects its employees to act lawfully, ethically, and in the best interest of the organization. Failure to which employees can report to the Amazon Legal Department. The Amazon Legal Department develops and maintains the reporting guidelines for employees who would like to report violations of the Amazon ethics policy.
It also prevents retaliation against employees who report misconduct by others. Employees who violate Amazon's code of conduct will face disciplinary actions, including getting discharged. Amazon employees can also turn to its Legal Department when they have questions or when in doubt about how to appropriately handle a specific situation.
While it's mostly available to Amazon's employees, customers and other stakeholders can also utilize this system. Technically, Amazon's Legal Department, which is its ethics department, plays a critical role in developing, maintaining, and enforcing Amazon's ethics policy.
Is Amazon an Ethical Company?
Unfortunately, Amazon is considered unethical due to its many ethical issues attributed to the treatment of its staff.
Despite struggling with maintaining internal ethics, Amazon has been at the forefront of promoting ethical causes such as the Climate Pledge, racial equality, and support for the disabled. This helps improve its ethical standing within the eCommerce community.
However, since it's considered a favorable working place, many may not consider it entirely ethical even with its external efforts.
Does Amazon Follow Its Ethics Code of Conduct?
While Amazon has a detailed ethics policy that its employees must follow, various people have observed that Amazon itself does not follow its code of conduct. Amazon has multiple ethical problems that should be addressed.
For example, Amazon was considered a tax avoider that exploits legal loopholes to lower its taxes. Despite generating huge revenues in the UK, Amazon paid very little corporation tax leading to a global boycott call by various ethics-based companies.
In addition, Amazon allows furs and other animal materials to be sold on the platform despite being produced through animal cruelty practices.
While Amazon upholds its ethics policy, they still fail to follow its own policies. Therefore, Amazon should adopt various practices that help it solve its ethical issues.
Amidst the growing scrutiny of business practices, Amazon's ethics policy has a series of guidelines that helps it promote a safe and healthy work environment for its employees. It covers a wide range of issues, including bribery, illegal discrimination, and other unethical practices that are not in the company's best interests.
Any violation of Amazon's ethics policy can be reported to the Legal Department or through Amazon's ethics hotline. Therefore, as an Amazon employee, it's your obligation to ensure that your decisions, behavior, and practices adhere to Amazon's ethics policy.