State of New York Sues Amazon Over Failure to Protect Workers from the COVID-19 Pandemic

New York Attorney General Letitia James recently sued Amazon on behalf of the State of New York, alleging the company failed to protect its workers from the pandemic and wrongfully terminated employees who blew the whistle about COVID protocol violations.

Case background

According to the lawsuit, Amazon “repeatedly and persistently failed to comply with its obligation to institute reasonable and adequate measures to protect its workers.”

The suit alleges the company purposefully cut corners in compliance with COVID protocols to avoid jeopardizing sales volumes and productivity, even despite profits increasing at an unprecedented rate of growth.

The suit comes in the midst of national coverage of poor working conditions at Amazon warehouses across the nation. Workers have reported a failure to be provided with personal protective equipment, a lack of social distancing and contact tracing, failure to properly clean and disinfect facilities, denial of sick leave and horrid working conditions, including allegations that some workers are forced to urinate in bottles rather than taking bathroom breaks.

The New York lawsuit also covers a couple instances of workers who brought evidence of these violations to superiors, only to be fired.

Companies must take appropriate measures to protect employees against the pandemic, especially for essential frontline workers who have greater exposure to the virus than others. If you believe your employer has flouted its responsibility for ensuring the health and safety of its workers, contact an experienced whistleblower attorney at Kardell Law Group to learn about the next steps you can take to hold them accountable.