New York Attorney General Letitia James announces the state has sued Amazon regarding COVID-19-related safety measures for employees.
James’ office announced the suit — filed in the Supreme Court of New York County — Wednesday morning, citing both the safety measures and “Amazon’s retaliatory actions against multiple employees amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In failing to maintain a safe work environment by reasonably protecting workers from the spread of COVID-19, Amazon violated New York State Labor Law. In addition, Amazon unlawfully fired and disciplined employees that objected to Amazon’s unsafe work conditions,” the press release read.
James’ office says it opened its Amazon investigation in March of last year after receiving complaints that few precautions were in place in Amazon facilities as the pandemic raged across the state and country. That investigation, the press release read, found evidence that New York state law was violated “with respect to cleaning and disinfection protocols, contact tracing, and generally permitting employees to take necessary precautions to protect themselves from the risk of COVID-19 infection, among other things.”
When employees reported these safety concerns, Amazon retaliated against them by unlawfully firing and disciplining them, in violation of New York's whistleblower protections.— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) February 17, 2021
James’ suit seeks damages and back pay for some employees, forfeit of profits Amazon made from its alleged practices, and “affirmative steps, including changing policies” for the company.