Behind the Smiles

Amazon’s internal records expose the true toll of its relentless drive for domination

Part 1

A woman looks worried as she holds a box in front of her face
Credit: Illustration by Jason Raish

Amazon’s internal injury records expose the true toll of its relentless drive for speed

As Amazon Prime promises one-day shipping, Amazon workers pay the price. Documents show that in California, Oregon, Indiana and elsewhere, Amazon workers are injured at high rates.

  • Listen: Amazon: Behind the Smiles
  • Watch: Amazon’s ‘culture of safety’ under the spotlight
  • Watch: Whistleblower: Amazon let off the hook after worker’s death
  • Interactive: Find out what injuries are like at the Amazon warehouse that handled your packages
Part 2

Credit: Illustration by Anthony Zinonos

How Amazon hid its safety crisis

Confidential documents reveal the company leaders’ deception about the consequences of Prime Day, its robots and more.

  • Listen: Catching Amazon in a lie
  • Watch: The truth about injuries at Amazon
  • Interactive: What are injury rates like at Amazon warehouses?
Part 3

An illustration shows red light shining through holes in a box
Credit: Illustration by Tyler Comrie

Inside Amazon’s Failures to Protect Your Data: Internal Voyeurs, Bribery Scandals and Backdoor Schemes

For years, the retail giant has been keeping something from you: It’s handled your information much less carefully than it handles your packages.

Follow-Up Stories


Amazon’s Warehouse Quotas Have Been Injuring Workers for Years. Now, Officials Are Taking Action.

January 19, 2022

‘We’re Going to Protect Workers’: New California Law Takes Aim at Amazon’s Unsafe Work Quotas

September 25, 2021

Amazon’s relentless pace is injuring workers and violating law, Washington state regulator says

May 25, 2021

Lawmakers demand Amazon answer for deception on worker injuries

October 15, 2020


Pulitzer Prize
2020 finalist, explanatory reporting

National Headliner Awards
2020 second-place winner, online investigative reporting
2020 second-place winner, social media
2020 third-place winner, investigative report by broadcast television networks, cable networks and syndicators

Gerald Loeb Awards
2020 winner, audio

SABEW Best in Business Awards
2019 winner, retail, small division

Scripps Howard Awards
2019 finalist, radio/podcast

Online Journalism Awards
2020 finalist, Al Neuharth Innovation in Investigative Journalism Award, medium newsroom

Investigative Reporters & Editors
2019 winner, large radio