FILE PHOTO: A employee in a face masks walks by vehicles parked at an Amazon facility as the worldwide coronavirus outbreak continued in Bethpage on Long Island in New York, U.S., March 17, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
April 28, 2020
By Kanishka Singh and Aakriti Bhalla
(Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc <AMZN.O> might have violated safety measures and labor practices amid the coronavirus pandemic because it fired a warehouse protest chief final month, New York Attorney General Letitia James’s workplace wrote in a letter to the corporate final week.
“Amazon’s health and safety measures taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are so inadequate that they may violate several provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act,” James’s workplace wrote within the letter, whose content material was shared by a source accustomed to the letter on Monday.
Amazon terminated Christian Smalls, a critic of the corporate’s warehouse circumstances within the pandemic, on grounds that he put others in danger by violating his paid quarantine when he joined an indication at Amazon’s Staten Island, New York, achievement middle.
The letter, despatched to the corporate on April 22, provides that preliminary findings “raise serious concern that Amazon may have discharged (Smalls) in order to silence his complaints and send a threatening message to other employees that they should also keep quiet about any health and safety concerns.”
Amazon mentioned it has taken “extreme measures” to maintain its staff secure, in accordance https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-28/amazon-s-pandemic-labor-practices-being-probed-by-new-york?sref=SCAzRb9t to an organization assertion cited by NPR, which first reported on the letter.
“We encourage anyone to compare the health and safety measures Amazon has taken, and the speed of their implementation, during this crisis with other retailers,” Amazon informed NPR.
The firm didn’t instantly reply to a Reuters request for remark.
The letter additionally known as on the e-commerce large to shut some warehouses for “adequate sanitization and disinfection”.
The world’s largest on-line retailer has been going through intense scrutiny by lawmakers and unions over whether or not it’s doing sufficient to guard workers from the novel coronavirus.
In March, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio mentioned he ordered the town’s human rights fee to open an investigation into the dismissal of Smalls.
(Reporting by Kanishka Singh and Aakriti Bhalla in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)