Tech firm slammed for unsuitable working conditions

by Nicola Middlemiss21 Sep 2015
One of Amazon’s corporate offices has come under fire after scores of US employees complained working conditions are “unsuitable.”

According to files acquired from the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, Amazon employees located at the company’s Blackfoot building in Seattle are struggling with a lack of men’s washrooms.

The building concerned houses around 150 men on one single floor with access to just four toilets.

“Due to a typical gender imbalance of our employees, we typically have long lines for using restroom stalls in most of the South Lake Union Amazon offices,” confirmed one worker.

“We cannot schedule a need to use the restroom in a timely manner, and there has been no consequence to the company for providing hostile working conditions for years,” he complained, in an official grievance to the State.

While the problem might seem trivial at first, it actually points to a more pressing problem – a lack of gender diversity in the sector.

In an interview with Vice, one former employee admitted he went to more female-centric floors to spend a penny.

“Whenever I needed to go to the bathroom, I went to the floors occupied by the rare teams that had more women than men.

Amazon Apparel, Amazon Mom, Amazon Baby—these were the places where you had a better shot of getting a free stall in the men’s room.”

He also added that issue was indicative of Amazon’s corporate culture – “If you were really lucky, and your timing was right, you might even get the bathroom to yourself for a moment. It was a relief from the craziness of Amazon’s corporate culture. These were the best floors.

“The worst floors were the ones dominated by engineers. I regularly saw people bring their laptops into the bathroom, where they would sit on the toilet and write code.”


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