The company responsible for staffing a Pennsylvania Amazon warehouse is fighting to keep some former workers from getting their unemployment benefits, but that hasn't stopped the company's CEO from enjoying a few of the finer things in life.
Integrity Staffing Solutions, a temporary staffing agency hired by Amazon to hire workers for its Lehigh Valley, Pa., warehouse, is involved in hundreds of unemployment claims appeal hearings per year, more than most Pennsylvania employers, according to a report from The Morning Call.
While the company is fighting former workers for their benefits, ISS CEO Todd Bavol lays claim to a beach house and a BMW, according to a 2009 Q&A in the Philadelphia Business Journal, The Morning Call noted.
Amazon and ISS didn't respond to requests for comment from The Huffington Post.
It's not rare to challenge former workers’ unemployment claims, especially during the recession, when more employers began fighting their former employees’ ability to collect their jobless benefits, according to The Washington Post. Businesses save money when they’re able to block jobless claims because their jobless insurance rates are based on how much their workers collect in unemployment claims.
This isn’t the first time ISS and Amazon have come under fire for the way they treat workers in the Lehigh Valley warehouse. Workers there allegedly contended with sweltering temperatures during the 2011 summer heat wave, according to a report last year from The Morning Call. Amazon announced in May 2012 that it would spend $52 million to retrofit its warehouses with air conditioning.
In the U.K., a 2008 Times of London report alleged that some Amazon workers weren't allowed to take sick leave and were effectively forced to work seven days a week. Amazon contested the report, saying it was inaccurate.
Amazon has been taking steps to counter critics. The company announced in July that it was launching a program to provide up to $2,000 in tuition assistance for college or vocational training to warehouse workers.