New York Lawyer Normal Letitia James sued Amazon on Tuesday over its dealing with of employee issues of safety across the Covid-19 pandemic at two warehouses, simply days after the retailer filed its personal lawsuit searching for to dam her case.
In a grievance filed in a New York state court docket in Manhattan, James mentioned Amazon’s drive for sooner progress and better earnings led to its “flagrant disregard” of steps wanted to guard staff from the coronavirus at a Staten Island achievement middle and a Queens distribution middle, each in New York Metropolis.
James additionally accused Amazon of illegally retaliating when staff started to complain, together with final March when it fired activist Christian Smalls purportedly for violating a paid quarantine when he led a protest over situations on the Staten Island warehouse.
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“Throughout the historic pandemic, Amazon has repeatedly and persistently failed to comply with its obligation to institute reasonable and adequate measures to protect its workers,” the lawsuit mentioned.
“Amazon has cut corners in complying with the particular requirements that would most jeopardize its sales volume and productivity rates,” it added.
James sued 4 days after Amazon filed its personal lawsuit in Brooklyn federal court docket to cease her from suing.
Amazon mentioned in its lawsuit that federal labor and security legal guidelines took priority over New York’s in addressing office security and that James was overstepping her authority.”We care deeply concerning the well being and security of our staff, as demonstrated in our submitting,” Amazon spokeswoman Kelly Nantel mentioned in response to James’ lawsuit.
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“We don’t believe the Attorney General’s filing presents an accurate picture of Amazon’s industry-leading response to the pandemic,” Nantel added. Amazon additionally confronted scrutiny final March when staff protested situations on the Staten Island warehouse. New York Metropolis introduced its personal probe on the time.
The lawyer common’s lawsuit seeks to require Amazon to improve its protections for staff, reinstate Smalls, and pay damages to him and one other employee who allegedly confronted retaliation.