Last Updated on 2024-03-21

How Seasonal Benefits at Amazon Warehouse Differ

We worked with these active, experienced gig-workers to write this article and bring you first-hand knowledge.

author image

Alex Rodriguez

T1 Asssociate with experience across Decant, Waterspider, Stower, Packer, and Receive Dock roles

author image

Jesse Gauthier

T1 Associate with two years of experience working in the Packer, Problem Solver, and Scanner roles

author image

James Enright

L5 having worked in a Fulfillment Center, Sortation Center, and in Reverse Logistics with 6+ years of experience across Receive Dock, Decant, Waterspider, Stower, Picker, Count, Packer, SLAM Operator, Problem Solver, and Unloader roles

author image

Davis Porter

Experienced writer/researcher in the gig industry working alongside our gig-workers

In our exploration of the pros and cons of working at Amazon warehouses , we established that employee benefits may vary by role, location, number of work hours, length of employment, and job status.

We have also published a guide on the benefits of full-time Amazon jobs , and another on the perks of their part-time counterparts

This time around, we’re switching things up and reviewing the implications of contract duration on those benefits. According to Amazon, there are two categories of employment timelines for warehouse workers. You could get hired on either a permanent or seasonal basis. 

For now, we’ll start with seasonal roles - as this is where many entry-level Amazon workers begin their warehouse careers. 

This post looks into both traditional and non-traditional perks for seasonal warehouse employees. Upon defining the job benefits, we’ll let you know if they are exclusive or not, how they differ from permanent employee offerings, plus the perk upgrades or downgrades you can expect if you ever convert from a seasonal to a permanent position in any of Amazon’s warehouses.

Do seasonal Amazon warehouse employees get benefits? 

Yes, seasonal workers at Amazon do get benefits, but they're quite different from those available to permanent employees. The company appreciates the contribution of seasonal warehouse employees during peak times and thus rewards them with both traditional and non-traditional benefits. 

Under traditional benefits, seasonal workers enjoy a steady cash flow thanks to weekly payouts. You also earn overtime rates when you exceed 40 work hours per week or take up shifts on public holidays. For Carlifonia-based warehouse associates like Alex Rodriguez, that same overtime is paid out upon exceeding eight hours a day. Amazon additionally offers some of its temporary workers sign-on bonuses to get them started on a high note. 

On the non-traditional side, seasonal roles offer incentives for maintaining work-life balance and driving personal growth. They perfectly suit individuals seeking short-term opportunities without the binding commitment of a long-term role. 

Traditional benefits for Amazon’s seasonal warehouse employees

#1. Weekly payments

One principal benefit for Amazon's seasonal employees is the assurance of weekly pay. Every Friday, the company transfers wages directly into employees' bank accounts. 

The cycle begins with Amazon’s payroll department tallying up hourly wages, overtime, and any applicable bonuses or deductions for each worker. Earnings are then finalized and paid out early enough in the week to account for the one to two-day ACH processing window required by most banks. 

If you’re otherwise in urgent need of cash, the Anytime Pay service grants warehouse employees access to up to 75% of their earned wages ahead of the scheduled payday. This has been made possible by a partnership between the ecommerce giant and Wisely payment processing services. 

Warehouse workers can now request an advance through the Amazon A to Z app, and the amount is instantly loaded onto their Wisely card. According to James Enright, a veteran warehouse worker, you should be able to preview your upcoming paycheck through the Amazon  A to Z app. 

#2. Flexible job shifts and schedules

Amazon offers several shift types to accommodate the diverse lifestyles of its workforce. From early risers to night owls, all seasonal warehouse personnel should be able to find convenient work shifts in line with their preferences. The biggest beneficiaries are students, caregivers, or anyone else juggling multiple roles – as the flexible Amazon warehouse shifts allow them to find a good balance between work and personal commitments.

Candidates are invited to select their preferred schedule at the beginning of the Amazon job application process. Seasonal roles are available on a full-time basis (30-40+ hours per week), reduced time (30-39 hours per week), or part-time (20-29 hours per week), depending on the operational demands of each warehouse. 

Amazon further provides fixed weekly schedules for consistency, alongside flexible scheduling options for those who need more adaptability. The available job shifts are posted weekly on the A to Z platform, leaving employees to choose their hours for the upcoming week. Seasonal employees could also settle for a hybrid model, which combines fixed shifts with the option to add hours through Amazon’s flexible scheduling.

The same scheduling system includes options for shift swaps and cancellations, with which warehouse workers can adjust their schedule granularly and exchange shifts with colleagues.

#3. Overtime pay

Classified as non-exempt by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), seasonal Amazon warehouse workers are duly entitled to overtime pay. The law mandates a compensation rate of 1.5 times their standard hourly rate for hours worked beyond a 40-hour workweek. 

The availability of overtime shifts is influenced by operational demands at Amazon warehouses, which can fluctuate significantly due to sales events, holidays, and changes in consumer behavior. It’s seasonal employees who are often recruited to handle these surges in demand, with the expectation that they will be available for overtime as needed.

Amazon’s overtime allocations are orchestrated through two strategies –  Voluntary Extra Time (VET) and Mandatory Extra Time (MET). While VET offers employees the chance to opt into additional shifts, MET is usually enforced during peak operational periods on a compulsory basis. 

The MET day dictated to an individual stays the same unless changed. VET can be picked up for any shift, any day,” explains Jesse Gauthier, an Amazon FC associate based in Michigan. 

In both instances, Amazon limits the total work time to 60 hours per week. That means you won’t be allowed to schedule any additional overtime. Alex however insists you can earn supplementary income above your overtime pay. In his words, “Some VET offers will offer Surge Pay during busy times like Peak.

Overtime earnings are ultimately included in the weekly paycheck following the week in which the extra hours were allocated. Then payments are processed via direct deposit for convenience and security.

#4. 401(k) savings plan

Amazon's 401(k) savings plan is meant to support the long-term financial health of its employees, including those in seasonal warehouse positions.

They may allocate between 1% and 90% of their eligible pay towards their 401(k), with contributions being made on a pre-tax, Roth, or after-tax basis. For the calendar year 2024, the IRS has set limits at $23,000, with an additional catch-up contribution option of $7,500 for employees aged 50 or older.

Employees also have the option of choosing their investments for themselves,” adds Jesse.

To further incentivize savings, Amazon matches 50 cents on every dollar contributed by seasonal employees up to 4% of their eligible pay. 

However, the vesting of Amazon's matching contributions requires employees to complete three years of service, each worth 1,000 hours within a calendar year. This means seasonal employees who return for multiple seasons or transition to permanent roles can become fully vested in the matching contributions, provided they meet Amazon’s service requirements.

As explained by Alex , “Some workers rush to leave before three years of service and then get surprised when their matching contributions disappear.”

Amazon’s Paid Time Off (PTO) program makes it possible for employees to take time off from work while still receiving their regular pay.

Seasonal workers begin accruing PTO upon joining, at a rate of one hour for every 40 hours worked annually. They may then use their accrued PTO for vacations, personal emergencies, or sick leave. 

In some states, Amazon’s PTO policy typically does not allow for the rollover of unused PTO to the next year. So, the company encourages seasonal warehouse employees to exhaust theirs within the year it’s earned. 

That rule doesn’t apply to workers like James Enright. He serves Amazon from New Jersey, one of the areas with state policies that support PTO rollovers.

#6. Discounts 

Seasonal warehouse workers at Amazon enjoy a 10% discount on items sold and shipped by Amazon. This perk caps at $1,000 worth of purchases per calendar year, offering a maximum of $100 in savings. It comes in the form of an Employee Discount Code (EDC), applicable at checkout when shopping on Amazon. 

Warehouse personnel can also participate in Amazon Extras , a discount program offering exclusive deals on a wide range of products and services. The service has partnered with national and local brands to provide packages in travel, entertainment, dining, and mobile services, among others.

To utilize the benefits, seasonal warehouse workers are required to log into Amazon’s platform using their employee credentials. They’ll then be able to browse through the available deals, which are regularly updated as they stream in. 

#7. Sign-on bonus

In 2023 , Amazon announced plans to hire over 250,000 seasonal workers ahead of the festive season, with some getting sign-on bonuses of between $1,000 and $3,000 at select sites. That was the trend in both 2022 and 2021, when warehouse associate recruits across various metro areas pocketed $3,000 as a sign-on bonus. 

This is one of the many strategies that Amazon uses to draw in seasonal warehouse job applicants during high-demand periods – along with referral bonus programs

Sign-on bonuses are available to new or returning warehouse associates from levels 1 to 4 and above. Eligibility may depend on the specific position, location, and shift the employee is hired for, with some potentially offering more lucrative rewards to select seasonal warehouse recruits at Amazon. 

But, as Jesse clarifies, “The sign-on bonus will be paid out in multiple payments over time, rather than a lump sum.”

Non-traditional benefits for Amazon seasonal warehouse workers

#1. Unlimited re-applications 

Amazon has an open-door policy that encourages former seasonal warehouse employees to reapply for positions, especially during peak operational periods when the demand for additional workforce spikes. There’s no cap on the number of times you can return.

The eligibility for rehire at Amazon depends on how one’s previous tenure ended. Former employees who left the company in good standing may start reapplying almost immediately. Priority is given to individuals who completed their seasonal assignments without any policy violations. 

“You especially don't want to acquire any CAT1 or safety violations,” cautions Alex . “These permanently prevent you from getting rehired not just at Amazon warehouses, but also at other Amazon subsidiaries.”

#2. Contract transitions 

Seasonal contracts can be a stepping stone to more stable employment within the company. This was openly demonstrated during the COVID-19 Pandemic, when Amazon announced that it would convert 70% of its 175,000 new seasonal U.S. employees into permanent roles. 

The availability of conversion opportunities is usually influenced by the local demand for workers, the volume of orders, and the operational needs of the Amazon warehouse location. Regions with higher demand and larger facilities are often more likely to have permanent job openings. 

As for the candidates to convert, Amazon bases its decisions on their track records for job performance, reliability, and compliance with company policies. Primary indicators include pick rate, stow rate, accuracy, and time off task metrics.  

Seasonal employees looking to convert to permanent roles are thus advised to maintain high productivity, punctuality, and safety compliance. This, according to James, means staying above rate and maintaining at least 10 hours of UPT.

#3. Low qualification requirements

By setting attainable job criteria for seasonal positions, Amazon opens the door for individuals seeking work experience, holiday income, or career opportunities in ecommerce.

During Amazon’s hiring process, applicants are only required to be at least 18 years old, hold a high school diploma or its equivalent, and have legal authorization to work. You should also be able to lift packages weighing 49 pounds and above, move through Amazon’s large facilities, and remain focused in the fast-paced warehouse environment.

Amazon further conducts a background check to assess criminal history, without necessarily disqualifying warehouse job applicants with felony records. This is followed by a drug test, which only screens for illegal substances – including all commonly available hard drugs, with the exception of marijuana. 

Do seasonal Amazon warehouse staff get health benefits?

Seasonal Amazon warehouse employees qualify for certain health benefits after 90 days of work. While the perks might not be as extensive as those provided to permanent staff, they still offer significant value in terms of healthcare access. 

For example, qualified seasonal workers may enroll in Amazon's Aetna, Cigna, or Premera medical plans for discounts on prescription medications. They stand to get $5 off on 30-day prescription fills and $10 off on 90-day fills from the Amazon Pharmacy. 

Do seasonal Amazon roles offer holiday pay?

Although the FLSA does not require employers to pay for time off during national holidays, it allows companies like Amazon to create their own custom policies based on operational needs and competitive standards. 

This company itself recognizes seven federal holidays – New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and Martin Luther King Jr. Day. On each of these days, permanent employees receive eight hours of paid time off at their standard rate. And if working, they additionally become eligible for overtime pay at 1.5 times their standard hourly wages. That translates to two sets of payments at once – holiday pay plus overtime benefits. 

The privileges do not extend to seasonal warehouse personnel. Their holidays are not automatically counted as paid time off. But, if they’re scheduled to work on the holiday itself, Amazon compensates them at an overtime rate of 1.5 times their regular hourly wage. 

How do permanent employee benefits compare?

Permanent Amazon warehouse employees qualify for a full suite of benefits that support their health, financial well-being, and work-life balance.

For healthcare, permanent workers have the liberty to select from a variety of medical perks based on individual and family needs. Their health plans are all-inclusive – with coverage for preventive care, pre-existing conditions, plus dental and vision care. 

Amazon’s staff and their families further get mental health support in the form of free counseling services, offering up to five sessions per issue annually for each employee. Other family benefits for Amazon warehouse employees include up to 20 weeks of fully paid leave for birthing parents, a Leave Share program for extending parental leave to partners who might not have access to paid leave in their workplaces, plus a Ramp Back program that offers new parents the option to return to work on a flexible or part-time basis. 

Another thing they could capitalize on is rideshare benefits. “Some of their programs offer free Lyft rides in case of emergency,” says Alex.  

Permanent warehouse workers also get exclusive access to the Amazon Career Choice program after 90 days of employment. This initiative provides up to $5,250 annually for courses in high-demand fields, regardless of their relevance to warehouse roles.

Get Started

Can you see yourself as an Amazonian? Apply now to a position near you.

Keep Learning...