Last week, CNBC reported that at least 10 LGBT pride posters had been defaced at Amazon’s headquarters over the past two months. The posters were designed by employees and used to encourage inclusivity in the workplace. Examples of the defaced posters include crossing out the “T” in “LGBT” and writing “Why?” over the message.
The reports indicate that many employees felt uncomfortable and expressed their concerns to the company. In order to resolve the issue, Amazon replaced the posters with a message that reads:
“Posters are company property. Defacing posters is a violation of Amazon’s policy.”
This new solution sparked a debate inside the company and drew over 100 responses in an internal email thread last week. Employees voiced their displeasure at the company’s weak response to the issue, making LGBTQ+ employees feel marginalized and neglected at work. One of the emails read:
“The proper response to widespread pride poster defacement is not only a policy that prohibits defacement, but also a massive and overwhelming show of support for pride in many forms.”
CNBC was able to contact a transgender employee within the company who said that a few people came close to quitting their jobs at Amazon as a consequence of those defacements. Other concerns say that employees of an LGBTQ+ background may feel as if their safety is “not guaranteed” at work.
While CEO Jeff Bezos celebrates his victory as one of the richest men on the planet, his decisions show how little he really cares for the people who run his empire. Recently, Bernie Sanders criticized Amazon for the way it treats its workers as stories of harsh hours and work conditions have been leaking into the internet. Amazon’s response to that issue was to pay workers to be ambassadors for the company, tweeting messages about how happy they are in the workplace. As Bezos sits atop his empire, his employees, straight and LGBTQ+, feel unsafe in the workplace as they work to make their living.