New York Attorney General Letitia James sued Amazon.com Inc on Tuesday, Feb. 16th, over its handling of worker safety issues around the Covid-19 pandemic at two warehouses, just days after the retailer filed its own lawsuit seeking to block her case.
In a complaint filed in a New York state court in Manhattan, James said Amazon’s drive for faster growth and higher profits led to its “flagrant disregard” of steps needed to protect workers from the coronavirus at a Staten Island fulfillment center and a Queens distribution center, both in New York City.
James also accused Amazon of illegally retaliating when employees began to complain, including last March when it fired activist Christian Smalls purportedly for violating a paid quarantine when he led a protest over conditions at the Staten Island warehouse.
“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 said.
“Amazon has cut corners in complying with the particular requirements that would most jeopardize its sales volume and productivity rates,” it added.
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