Amazon driver was warned she’d be fired for returning with packages during a tornado

THE VERGE:

An Amazon delivery driver in Illinois was told to keep delivering packages after she reported hearing tornado sirens, with the dispatcher saying that the sirens were “just a warning.” According to a report by Bloomberg, which includes screenshots of the conversation, the driver was told that returning to the warehouse would be viewed as a route refusal, “which [would] ultimately end with you not having a job come tomorrow morning.”

The conversation reportedly happened on Friday evening, around an hour and a half before a tornado hit an Amazon facility around 30 miles away from the driver. After being told twice to “just keep delivering,” the driver was eventually instructed to shelter in place “for 15-20 minutes, then continue as normal.” (The instructions to shelter in place were repeated several more times after.) The driver, expressing that a delivery van wouldn’t provide much safety, said she wanted to return to base.

The dispatcher’s response is harrowing: “If you decide to come back, that choice is yours. But I can tell you it won’t be viewed as for your own safety. The safest practice is to stay exactly where you are.” The dispatcher said drivers couldn’t be recalled unless Amazon directed it and that she would lose her job if she returned. The tornado ended up touching down near a highway, throwing cars in the air, according to Bloomberg, though the driver involved in the text exchange is reported to be safe.

More from The Verge

Join now!