An Amazon employee was injured after he reportedly jumped off a building at the company’s Seattle headquarters campus Monday morning.
The Seattle Fire Department told SeattlePI.com that the man leapt from a rooftop about four stories high at the 12-story Apollo building at Ninth Avenue North and Thomas Street, and he fell about 20 feet to a balcony below. He was taken to Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center with non life-threatening injuries.
“Our thoughts are with our colleague as he continues to recover,” Amazon told GeekWire in a statement. “He’s receiving some of the best care possible and we will be there to support him throughout the recovery process.”
Citing an anonymous source, Bloomberg reported that the man had recently put in a request to transfer to a different department, but he was put on an employee improvement plan. These plans can put employees at risk of termination if they don’t improve performance. The source told Bloomberg that the man sent an email visible to many in the company, including CEO Jeff Bezos, where he criticized how Amazon dealt with his transfer request. In the message, the man reportedly hinted that he might harm himself.
Amazon’s culture was put under a microscope last year, when the New York Times published a controversial report depicting the company as a “bruising workplace.” Amazon has since refuted many of the allegations in the report, and the company has been working to further improve its workplace culture in a bid to recruit and retain top tech talent.
Amazon is significantly changing how it assesses the performance of its employees each year — shaking up a tradition that emerged as an emblem of the technology giant’s exacting standards and hard-charging workplace. The new performance review program, which will go into effect next year, will be “radically simplified and focuses on our employees’ strengths, not the absence of weaknesses,” Amazon said in a statement earlier this month.
Last fall, the company expanded its parental leave benefits, which had been another target of criticism at the company. This summer, Amazon began testing a new program that creates technical teams consisting entirely of part-time employees who are still eligible for the same benefits as Amazon’s full-time employees.