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Case Code: CLHR036
Case Length: 4 pages 
Period: 2011-2014  
Pub Date: 2014
Teaching Note: Not Available
Subject : Human Resource Management
Organization, Inc
Industry : Online retail
Countries : USA

Pay to Quit: Amazon’s offer to boost Employee Morale


ABSTRACT, Inc, an online retail company, was established in 1994 by Jeff Bezos. The company started with selling books online and then diversified into various products from software to furniture. In a short span of time, Amazon became one of the most successful companies in e-commerce. The company’s success also attracted criticism ranging from business practices and policies to working conditions at its large warehouses. To overcome criticism, Bezos came out with ‘Pay to Quit’ offer where the employees at the fulfillment center were offered US$ 2000 to US$ 5000, based on their experience, to quit. The case discusses the pros and cons of this program, and whether Amazon will benefit from such a policy.
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  • The online retail industry.
  • Working conditions at online retail companies
  • The pros and cons of the pay to quit policy
On April 10, 2014, Jeff Bezos (Bezos), CEO of, Inc (Amazon), one of the leading e-commerce companies in the world, came out with his annual letter for the year 2013, addressed to the company’s shareholders. The letter contained details of the company’s products, services, future plans, innovative and improved delivery system, the use of drones in future for delivery systems, an online grocery, new services, etc. But what caught the eye of shareholders, investors, and industry observers alike was the employee empowerment section, which contained an announcement of a new career choice program. Under this program, Amazon said it would pay 95% of tuition fees for the employees to take up courses of their interest even if the course was not related to a career at the company. The second was a ‘pay to quit’ program whereby Amazon would pay up to US$ 5000 to employees who wanted to quit ...


Amazon, Pay to quit, online retail, Jeff Bezos, warehouse working conditions, HR policies, Zappos, fulfillment center

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