Employment Law

Amazon slashing ‘several hundred roles’ in Prime Video, MGM Studios division

A photo of a person examining a camera in front of a projector. (Photo: Jakob Owens / Unsplash)

Amazon is reportedly eliminating “several hundred roles” in its Prime Video and MGM Studios division.

The update comes as Twitch, the company’s livestreaming platform, announced that it’s laying off more than 500 employees.

What’s happening at Amazon?

Mike Hopkins, the executive who leads Amazon’s Prime Video and MGM Studios division, said in an email to staff that the company is relentlessly focused “on what we know matters most to our customers.”

“Throughout the past year, we’ve looked at nearly every aspect of our business with an eye towards improving our ability to deliver even more breakthrough movies, TV shows, and live sports in a personalized, easy-to-use entertainment experience for our global customers,” Hopkins said in the email that was obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.

“As a result, we’ve identified opportunities to reduce or discontinue investments in certain areas while increasing our investment and focus on content and product initiatives that deliver the most impact.”

Hopkins added that the company expects most layoff notifications in areas outside the Americas to be complete by the end of the week.

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Amazon layoffs in Canada

It remains unclear if any Canadians working in Amazon’s Prime Video and MGM Studios division have been let go.

According to the company’s LinkedIn page, it employs more than 17,000 people across the country.

Termination agreements for Amazon employees

In Canada, non-unionized employees at Amazon 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.

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.

If you don’t receive the correct amount, which happens often, you have been wrongfully dismissed and should take legal action.

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

Severance for provincially regulated employees
Rights to severance for tech sector staff
• Severance packages during mass layoffs

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Major tech layoffs continue

Amazon isn’t the only major tech company that has announced sweeping job cuts to kick off 2024.

Unity Software is eliminating approximately 25 per cent of its workforce, while Xerox is trimming its headcount by 15 per cent.

The layoffs come after another tumultuous year for the tech sector.

In 2023, big names, including Bolt, Cruise, Etsy, Spotify, Broadcom, ByteDance, Informatica, Ubisoft, Bungie, Splunk, and Nokia, pulled out the axe as they continue to navigate challenging economic conditions.

• Firm launches $130M class action against Shopify for breach of contract
• Report: Google could cut jobs in ad sales unit amid AI success
• Where are layoffs happening in Canada?

Lost your job? Talk to an employment lawyer

If you have been fired or let go for any reason, contact the experienced employment law team at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP.

Our lawyers in Ontario, Alberta, and B.C. have successfully represented tens of thousands of non-unionized individuals.

In addition to severance package negotiations, we can assist you on a broad range of employment matters, including:

If you are a non-unionized employee who needs help with a workplace issue, contact us or call 1-855-821-5900 to get the advice you need and the compensation you deserve.

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