Amazon Worker Who Became Homeless After Workplace Injury Speaks Out

August 1, 2018, 4:16 PM UTC

After a workplace accident at an Amazon warehouse last October, 49-year-old Vickie Shannon Allen is sharing her story on YouTube about losing her home.

According to a Guardian investigation, Allen was working at a warehouse in Haslet, Texas, when she hurt her back at a workstation.

Allen’s workstation was reportedly missing a piece of safety equipment that prevents the products from falling to the ground. According to the report, Allen hurt her back while using a tote bin as a replacement for the missing equipment, and from counting supplies in an awkward position.

“I tried to work again, but I couldn’t stretch my right arm out and I’m right-handed,” Allen told the Guardian. “So I was having a hard time keeping up. This went on for about three weeks.”

Allen said in her story that Amazon offered her medical attention — a heating pad for her back — but sent her home each day without pay during the period that she couldn’t work. According to her account, Allen had issues with the company for nine months before they offered her one week of paid leave. The company also did not fix the workstation until June 2018, according to Allen.

She was later evicted from a caravan park in Texas and has set up a GoFundMe to raise money.

“They offered me a buyout, only for $3,500, which meant I would have to sign a non-disclosure agreement to not say anything derogatory about Amazon or my experience,” Allen said in a video. She said she declined the buyout, so she could openly speak about Amazon’s treatment of her.


“I can’t believe this is my life now,” Allen said. “I work for the world’s richest man and I live in my car.”

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is now the wealthiest person in history, with a net worth of $150 billion.

Amazon maintained that workers’ safety is its “number one priority.” But the company was added to a 2018 list of “Employers Who Put Workers and Communities at Risk,” compiled by the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health.

In a statement to Fortune, an Amazon spokesperson said, “We don’t recognize these allegations as an accurate portrayal of working at Amazon. We are proud of our safety record and thousands of Amazonians work hard every day innovating ways to make it even better.”

“Amazon has created over 130,000 jobs in the last year alone and now employs over 560,000 people around the world. Ensuring the safety of these associates is our number one priority. We encourage anyone to come see for themselves by taking a tour at one of our fulfillment centers.”