NY sues Amazon, saying it didn’t protect workers from virus

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York attorney general is suing Amazon over COVID-19 safety protocols, accusing the company of being more concerned with making money than protecting its workers from getting sick.

The lawsuit, filed late Tuesday, involves two Amazon facilities in New York City that employ more than 5,000 workers. It alleges that Amazon failed to disinfect those facilities when infected workers had been present; didn’t contact workers when they were exposed to the virus; and made employees work so much that they didn’t have time to disinfect their workstations or stay socially distant.

“While Amazon and its CEO made billions during this crisis, hardworking employees were forced to endure unsafe conditions,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James, who filed the lawsuit.

The suit landed just days after Amazon preemptively sued to block it from happening. In its own lawsuit filed Friday, Amazon said that unannounced inspections by the New York City sheriff’s office found its New York warehouse went above and beyond safety requirements. On Wednesday, Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel added that the attorney general’s lawsuit doesn’t present an accurate picture of Amazon’s response to the virus.

The pandemic has exposed how Amazon, the country’s second-largest private employer, treats its workers who pack and ship orders. Some have protested a lack of masks and protective equipment while others have said the company isn’t forthcoming about how many people are getting sick. At a warehouse in Alabama, nearly 6,000 workers are voting on whether they want to join a union, the biggest union push in Amazon’s history.


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