Amazon has admitted that its drivers are sometimes forced to urinate in bottles while making deliveries.
The online retailer retracted a statement it made to a US politician in which it incorrectly denied the allegation. The tech giant used its Twitter account to reply to a post by US representative Mark Pocan.
Pocan criticised Amazon for claiming to be a "progressive workplace" while making "workers urinate in water bottles".
Amazon replied to the Tweet from March 25, saying: "You don't really believe the peeing in bottles thing, do you? If that were true, nobody would work for us."
However, that denial led to a backlash which has seen multiple investigations and articles featuring accounts from its drivers saying they are forced to relieve themselves while on the road due to time pressures and traffic.
Amazon admitted its response had been "an own goal … we owe an apology".
The company said the post was "incorrect. It did not contemplate our large driver population".
"We know that drivers can and do have trouble finding restrooms because of traffic or rural routes, and this has been especially the case during Covid when many public restrooms have been closed."
However, the company claimed it was an "industry-wide" issue, before citing examples from rival companies.
Amazon added: "Regardless of the fact that this is industry wide, we would like to solve it. We don't yet know how, but will look for solutions.
"We will continue to speak out when misrepresented, but we will also work hard to always be accurate."
Pocan, the representative for Wisconsin, rejected the apology saying Amazon workers were not treated with enough "respect or dignity".
The pandemic has seen soaring demand for Amazon's package deliveries. Last year, its revenues increased 38 per cent to $386bn ($549.5 billion)), while its profits surged by 84 per cent.
Amazon is facing a union drive from its US facilities. Last week, Amazon staff at a centre in Alabama held a vote to decide whether they wanted to be represented by a US retail workers union. The results are expected this week.