Employment Law

Amazon cuts 5% of jobs in its communications divisions

Over five per cent of the workforce in Amazon’s communications divisions both domestically and internationally has reportedly been laid off.

  • The divisions include Amazon Studios, Prime Video, and Music.
  • Overall, this represents less than one per cent of the e-commerce giant’s entire global communications staff.
  • The company has confirmed the discontinuation of the live audio service, Amp.

“Following a recent structural review, we’ve decided to eliminate a minor number of roles within our communications team,” Brad Glasser, a company spokesperson, said in a statement obtained by Deadline.

“We value these employees for their contributions and are committed to assisting them in their subsequent endeavours.”

It remains unclear if Canadian employees are affected by the latest round of job cuts at Amazon.

Major tech layoffs continue

Amazon has reported substantial layoffs over the past year. After cutting approximately 10,000 jobs last November, the company trimmed its headcount further in January and March.

The company’s livestreaming platform, Twitch, also reportedly completed an “unexpected layoff” earlier this month.

The e-commerce giant isn’t alone. Several major North American tech companies, including Epic Games, Google, Roku, Dell, Telus, Microsoft, Ritual, and Meta, have significantly scaled back their staffing levels as they continue to navigate challenging economic conditions.

• Firm launches $130M class action against Shopify for breach of contract
• Canadian tech company Hopper cutting 30% of staff to reach profitability
• Where are layoffs happening in Canada?

Termination agreements for Amazon employees

As part of the layoff announcement, Amazon claims that it will provide support for affected staff in several ways:

  • Employees will continue to receive their pay and benefits for the subsequent 60 days.
  • Workers will be entitled to a severance package, transitional benefits, and job-placement assistance.

In Canada, non-unionized employees at the e-commerce giant are owed full severance pay when they lose their jobs due to downsizing, corporate restructuring, or the closure of the business.

This includes individuals working full-time, part-time, or hourly in Ontario, Alberta, and B.C.

People working “on contract” or as a contractor may also be owed severance pay — given that many employees in Canada are often misclassified as independent contractors.

Severance can be as much as 24 months’ pay, depending on a number of factors.

Rights to severance for provincially regulated employees
Severance entitlements during mass layoffs
Severance packages in a recession

WATCH: Employment lawyer Lior Samfiru explains what rights employees have if they are being fired or let go on an episode of the Employment Law Show.

Before you accept any severance offer, have an experienced employment lawyer at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP review it and your employment contract.

We can tell you if what you have been provided is fair and how to get proper severance if it falls short of what you are actually owed.

If you don’t receive the full amount, which happens often, you have been wrongfully dismissed and are entitled to compensation.

In some cases, employers pressure staff into accepting poor severance packages, such as imposing a deadline for accepting the offer.

Non-unionized employees in Canada have up to two years from the date of their dismissal to pursue a claim for full severance pay.

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