The work is repetitive and physically strenuous, and it can pay several dollars above the minimum wage, but Amazon requires these workers, even seasonal ones, strict and extensive non-compete agreements. Amazon`s contract, obtained by The Verge, requires employees not to work in a company where they « directly or indirectly » support all goods or services that rival those that have supported them on Amazon, for a year and a half after their short stations on Amazon. Of course, the company`s warehouses are the beating heart of Amazon`s online shopping empire, whose exceptional breadth has earned it the title of Everything Store, so Amazon seems to require temporary workers to force a considerable portion of the global economy in exchange for a multi-month stock festival. « It`s quite broad, » says Orly Lobel, a professor of labor law at the University of San Diego who has studied non-competition bans in detail and reviewed Amazon`s agreement. Regina Lee, an Amazon seasonal worker who signed a non-compete clause, takes the deal seriously. In recent years, as Lee struggled to find decently paid work, she became a loyal and grateful member of Amazon`s military, which has moved away. « Before I worked on Amazon, I applied for Walmart, and I didn`t go anywhere, so I`m just happy to have a job, » says Lee. « Just a job I can come back to every winter. » Lee says Amazon`s staff team in Coffeyville, Kansas, during last year`s pre-Christmas rush helped house her when she suffered an allergic reaction that led her to change jobs inside the camp. « It was beyond anything my former employers would have done, » Lee said. Several former Amazon employees in Kansas and Tennessee said they had vague memories of signing a non-compete agreement, but they weren`t paying much attention. Two employees who left Amazon`s storage jobs in 2012 and 2013 said they have no recollection of signing a non-compete agreement.
It is not known when Amazon began signing this agreement, and the company did not respond to questions from The Verge about it. Two other Amazon employees, approached by The Verge, cited the confidentiality agreement they had signed with the company by refusing to share their experience for the story. (iii) the nature, content and existence of an agreement, discussions or negotiations between Amazon and the supplier.