Is Amazon Really an Awful Place to Work?

A lengthy New York Times article published on Sunday, described Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) as a draconian place to work. Crying employees, insensitivity towards health ailments like cancer, and late night texts from the employer depicted a tech giant that was in stark contrast to the generous employee perks at companies like Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB).

But is this a fair characterization? In an internal memo obtained by FOX Business, CEO Jeff Bezos said that the article “doesn’t describe the Amazon I know.” He asked employees aware of any issues to reach out to him directly via email or to get in touch with HR. “I strongly believe that anyone working in a company that really is like the one described in the NYT would be crazy to stay,” added Bezos.

A senior Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) employee who requested anonymity, told, “I don't share the experiences expressed in the article, and haven't known anyone who does.”

An Amazon spokesperson also tells that the company has a good track record of keeping employees. “It's not accurate to say that Amazon has high turnover – our retention rates are in line with the industry and people seem to confuse attrition with tenure. We’ve created more than 150,000 new jobs since 2010."

Emphasizing that they only wanted to retain employees who were happy with Amazon, the company offered to pay employees a $5,000 bonus if they quit last year.

“Some of the allegations, such as health related matters, are concerning and need to be addressed if true,” said James Cakmak, analyst at Monness, Crespi & Hardt.  “The overarching takeaway though should be that step advances in innovation do not come easy and have been evidenced by success stories time and again – gradual change is one thing, step function changes are another.”

Amazon shares have gained 72% this year. Bezos owns The Washington Post, a competitor of The New York Times (NYSE:NYT).