Amazon sued by New York for putting frontline workers at risk

The case focuses on two Amazon facilities: a large warehouse on Staten Island and a delivery depot in Queens. James argues that Amazon failed to properly clean its buildings, conducted inadequate contact tracing for known COVID-19 cases, and “took swift retaliatory action” to silence complaints from workers.

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New York’s attorney general, Letitia James, sued Amazon Tuesday evening, arguing that the company provided inadequate safety protection for workers in New York City during the pandemic and retaliated against employees who raised concerns over the conditions.

The case focuses on two Amazon facilities: a large warehouse on Staten Island and a delivery depot in Queens. James argues that Amazon failed to properly clean its buildings, conducted inadequate contact tracing for known COVID-19 cases, and “took swift retaliatory action” to silence complaints from workers.

“Amazon’s extreme profits and exponential growth rate came at the expense of the lives, health and safety of its front-line workers,” James argued in the complaint, filed in New York Supreme Court.Kelly Nantel, a spokesperson for Amazon, said the company cared “deeply about the health and safety” of its workers.“We don’t believe the attorney general’s filing presents an accurate picture of Amazon’s industry-leading response to the pandemic,” Nantel said.Last week, Amazon preemptively sued James in federal court in an attempt to stop her from bringing the charges. The company argued that workplace safety was a matter of federal, not state, law.

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