New York Sues Amazon, Saying It Inadequately Protected Workers From Covid-19

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New York Sues Amazon . com, Saying It Inadequately Protected Employees From Covid-19

The case concentrates on two of the company’s facilities within New York.

Credit… Brendan McDermid/Reuters

  • Feb. 16, 2021, 9: 57 p. mirielle. ET

New York’s lawyer general, Letitia James, sued Amazon . com on Tuesday evening, arguing the company provided inadequate safety for workers in New York City throughout the pandemic and retaliated against workers who raised concerns over the problems.

The situation focuses on two Amazon facilities: a big warehouse on Staten Island and also a delivery depot in Queens. Microsoft. James argues that Amazon did not properly clean its buildings, executed inadequate contact tracing for recognized Covid-19 cases, and “took fast retaliatory action” to silence issues from workers.

“Amazon’s extreme profits plus exponential growth rate came on the expense of the lives, health and safety from the frontline workers, ” Ms. Wayne argued in the complaint, filed within New York Supreme Court.

Kelly Nantel, the spokeswoman for Amazon, said the business cared “deeply about the health and safety” of its workers.

“We do not believe the attorney general’s submitting presents an accurate picture of Amazon’s industry-leading response to the pandemic, ” Ms. Nantel said.

Last week, Amazon preemptively sued Ms. Wayne in federal court in an attempt to cease her from bringing the charges. The business argued that workplace safety was obviously a matter of federal, not condition, law.

In the 64-page complaint last week, Amazon stated its safety measures “far exceed what exactly is required under the law. ” This cited a surprise inspection by the Nyc Sheriff’s Office that found Amazon . com “appeared to go above and beyond the current conformity requirements. ” The company also comprehensive other safety measures it had used, including temperature checks and providing free Covid-19 testing on web site.

Nyc, in its suit, said Amazon obtained written notification of at least two hundred and fifty employees at the Staten Island stockroom who had Covid-19. In more compared to 90 of those cases, the contaminated employee had been at work in the previous 7 days, yet Amazon did not close servings of the building to provide proper venting as the state required, the submitting said.

Ms. James said that until a minimum of late June, Amazon did not job interview infected workers to determine their shut contacts and instead relied upon reviewing surveillance footage, which could consider three days and did not protect the entire warehouse. The lack of interviews “created a very time-consuming process which failed to identify close contacts in a timely fashion, ” the complaint said.

The girl also argued that Amazon retaliated against Christian Smalls , the worker the company fired in the springtime. Mr. Smalls had been raising protection concerns with managers and directed a public protest in the car parking lot of the Staten Island service.

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Amazon reports Mr. Smalls was fired designed for going to the work site for the demonstration even though he was on compensated quarantine leave after he had used a colleague who had examined positive for the coronavirus.

Ms. James’s submitting said two Amazon human resources workers discussed Mr. Smalls’s situation on paper. The employees said they believed it was unfair to fire him as they did not enter the building and because Amazon . com had not told him that the company’s quarantine policy prohibited him through being outside the facility.

Ms. James stated that by firing Mr. Smalls plus reprimanding another protest leader, Amazon . com sent a chilling message in order to others.

“Amazon employees reasonably fear that when they make legitimate health and safety complaints about Amazon’s Covid-19 response, Amazon will retaliate against them as well, ” the lady argued.

The state said Amazon should alter its policies, conduct training plus undergo safety monitoring, and that it will pay lost wages and other problems to Mr. Smalls and offer your pet his job back.

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