Amazon is eliminating a customer service role that could impact hundreds of jobs, sources told Business Insider.
The company told employees last week that it plans to end its Virtual Customer Service Reserves program on November 10, these sources said.
Employees hired under this program answer customer service calls about undelivered packages, product questions, and other concerns.
Reserves employees work remotely and in many cases from home. They have flexible schedules and can work as little one hour a week, though they typically work about 12 hours weekly on average, according to Amazon job postings for the Reserves program.
Amazon is giving Reserves employees three options: take on more hours by moving to a "Flex" customer service role, apply to another job within Amazon, or end their employment and accept severance.
In response to questions about the decision to end the Reserves program, an Amazon spokesperson sent the following statement: "As our customer service organization continues to evolve, Amazon continuously seeks to improve our dedicated support for customers and growing business needs. Amazon reviews business needs to best serve customers and to provide all employees with a consistent experience."
The company declined to respond to a question about how many employees would be affected by the program's elimination. A current Reserves employee estimated that at least 1,000 people would be affected.
Amazon employees who can't work more hours could lose their jobs
Customer service employees in "Flex" program typically work 20 to 29 hours per week, and those number may increase during peak seasons, according to an Amazon job posting.
An Amazon employee told Business Insider that the Reserves job attracts many stay-at-home parents and people with disabilities who need flexible work schedules. The employee spoke with Business Insider on the condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation.
She said she can't take on additional hours by becoming a Flex employee, and will likely have to accept severance instead. She said many of her coworkers in the Reserves program are facing the same predicament.
"This position was perfect for differently abled people or for stay-at-home moms like me," she said. "And now it's been taken away."