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Amazon Work Rules Govern Tweets, Body Odor of Contract Drivers

The company’s efforts to bring order to its sprawling delivery operation could risk a legal and regulatory backlash. 

Amazon.com Inc. vans in Orlando, Florida.
Photographer: Paul Hennessy/Getty Images

The thousands of people driving those ubiquitous Amazon-branded blue vans aren’t employed by the Seattle leviathan. They work for small, independent businesses with contracts to transport packages for Amazon. But that hasn’t stopped the company from dictating the state of their fingernails—and a whole lot more.

“Personal grooming must be maintained at an acceptable level, including but not limited to prevention of unpleasant breath or body odor, modest perfume/cologne, and clean teeth, face/ears, fingernails and hair,” Amazon.com Inc. says in a recent version of its policies governing these small delivery companies, or what the company calls Delivery Service Partners. The document, reviewed by Bloomberg, also requires that drivers refrain from “obscene” social-media posts, undergo training programs approved by Amazon, follow instructions from Amazon’s delivery app and be drug tested whenever Amazon representatives ask.