Amazon warehouse worker claims she was written up for taking too many breaks

Amazon warehouse worker claims she was written up for taking too many breaks
© ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

An Amazon warehouse worker says she was written up for taking too many breaks at work earlier this month.

Hibaq Mohamed, who works at Amazon's Shakopee, Minn., facility sent a letter to Attorney General Keith EllisonKeith EllisonMinneosta AG's office to prosecute case against officer charged in killing of Daunte Wright State trial for former officers charged in George Floyd's death moved to next year Lawyer for former officer charged in George Floyd death alleges witness coercion MORE claiming she was written up for spending too much time away from her work area, CNBC reported. The write up is also known as logging "time off tasks." 

Time off tasks, or TOTs for short, are logged in Amazon's internal system if workers break from scanning packages for too long. The TOTs generate warnings, which can lead to firings if a worker racks up too many.


"I worked at Amazon for nearly four years with a very clean record and just one or two warnings I know of in that entire time," Mohamed wrote to the attorney general. "Amazon managers have targeted me and openly harassed me before, but increasingly during the pandemic."

A spokesperson for Amazon disputed that the company ever retaliated against her.

“While we have not seen the formal complaint, the allegations described are not true. We do not tolerate any kind of discrimination in the workplace and we support every employee’s right to criticize their employer, but that doesn’t come with blanket immunity to ignore internal policies,” the spokesperson said.

The massive e-commerce company claims workers are free to spend time out of their breaks to use the restroom, wash their hands, or take breaks to get water or speak to their managers.

But Mohamed also requested that Ellison provide protections for workers under an executive order he signed in May this year and extended this week. The order mandates employers not to take retaliatory or discriminatory action against workers who are concerned about unsafe working conditions because of the coronavirus. 

Ellison reportedly declined to comment on Mohamed's letter, CNBC reported.



The news comes Amazon has faced multiple allegations of retaliation against workers, and the company fired at least four workers who called the company out for its labor procedures and practices. The company said those workers were terminated for violation of internal policies.

California introduced legislation earlier this year in an attempt to bar companies like Amazon, Target, or Walmart from logging TOTs on its workers.