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The New York Attorney General’s Office filed a lawsuit against Amazon on Tuesday, alleging that the Internet retailer failed to secure its warehouse employees in New York from COVID-19.
New York Attorney General Letitas James wrote, “During the historical epidemic, Amazon has repeatedly and consistently failed to comply with its obligation to take reasonable and adequate measures to protect its employees from the spread of the virus in their institutions . ” Complaint filed in State Supreme Court
The lawsuit continues, “The disregard of Amazon’s flag for health and safety requirements has caused serious illnesses and severely harmed thousands of workers.
James’s lawsuit also alleges that Amazon violated state anti-retaliation and whistleblower laws, A laborer in its Staten Island warehouse. Smalls ended the day he attended a demonstration outside his warehouse, but the e-commerce giant defended the move, saying Smalls violated a company-mandated quarantine order when he was infected with a coronovirus The other employee was in close contact.
Amazon filed a lawsuit against James just three days after it was filed, arguing that it was overstepping its authority by trying to regulate the coronavirus safety protocol in its New York City warehouses. The company said in its lawsuit that it hired experts, set up hand-cleaning stations and reminded working signs to stay six feet away from each other.
“We care deeply about the health and safety of our employees, as demonstrated in our filing last week, and we do not believe that the Attorney General’s filing led to Amazon’s industry-leading response to the epidemic.” Has presented an accurate picture, “Amazon spokesman Kelly Nant said in a statement.
The lawsuit calls for an order for Amazon to change its employee safety policies, conduct training, and undergo monitoring. The complaint also calls for compensation for Smalls and Derrick Palmer, an Amazon employee who staged protests at the Staten Island facility and reprimanded for violating the social distance protocol.
Amazon has long faced scrutiny over its treatment of warehouse and delivery workers. In October, the company revealed thatMonths after the release of this information by the state’s attorney general and activist staff, a positive estimate was made for coronoviruses on March 1 and September 19.
The release of the information was a reversal for Amazon, which avoided providing a detailed state-by-state accounting of coronovirus infections for months. Without this information being available, some employees worked together to compile estimates on the number of infections, using message alerts from the company.