Community Issues

Amazon Wants Its Employees to Quit--And Start Their Own Businesses

The company is offering incentives for employees to start package delivery services.

Amazon is funding an initiative that encourages its own employees to quit their jobs and start a small business.

The retail giant is expanding its Delivery Service Partner program. As part of the expansion, current employees are eligible for $10,000 in startup costs plus three months salary, if they start a package delivery business and partner with Amazon.

Amazon spokeswoman Amanda Ipp told KDKA Radio the goal is not to shed payroll costs but to encourage employees to follow their career aspirations.

"Small business owners think big. They have a bias for action and really deliver results on behalf of our customers," Ipp said.

Ipp says that those who start their own businesses will hire their own team of drivers by offering competitive pay and benefits. Right now, the delivery drivers who carry Amazon packages to your front door are a combination of traditional delivery partners, small business employees, and independent contractors.

Some critics say this could be a move by Amazon to transfer liability costs to other businesses.

"The challenges of doing delivery work for Amazon have taken many dozens of delivery owners by surprise," Peter Schlactus, co-founder of the Association for Delivery Drivers, told CBS News . "If an independent contractor gets into an accident, they cover the damages and liability from their own insurance. If they are your employee, you are liable."

However, Schlactus also said that due to the rise in e-commerce, there has never been a better time to be in the package delivery business.

Ipp says that people interested in driving for Amazon without starting a business can visit

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