Amazon Offers Workers Up to $5,000 to Quit

Friday, 11 Apr 2014 08:18 PM

By Dan Weil

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Some workers are paid extra so they will stay at their companies. Amazon.com is giving as much as $5,000 to some of its workers if they leave the company.

The offer applies to Amazon's fulfillment-center workers who are employed directly by the company, an Amazon spokeswoman told NBC News.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos described the program, "Pay to Quit," in his annual letter to shareholders. Once a year the workers are offered cash to quit. The first year it's $2,000, and then it goes up a $1,000 a year to a maximum of $5,000.

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To be sure, Amazon doesn't want its workers to leave, Bezos writes. "We hope they don’t take the offer; we want them to stay," he says.

So why will Amazon pay them to bolt?

"The goal is to encourage folks to take a moment and think about what they really want," Bezos said. "In the long-run, an employee staying somewhere they don’t want to be isn’t healthy for the employee or the company."

The idea originated at Amazon subsidiary Zappos, an online shoe and clothing retailer.

As for Amazon's stock, which has dropped 9 percent since April 2, "we believe the recent selloff creates an intriguing entry point for a name that we consider to have one of the widest economic moats in the consumer space today," writes Morningstar analyst R.J. Hottovy on his firm's website.

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