Amazon sued over New York worker who brought coronavirus home

WION Web Team
New York, New York, United States of America Published: Jun 04, 2020, 07:42 AM(IST)

Amazon Photograph:( ANI )

Story highlights

The lawsuit said Amazon has made JFK8, which employs about 5,000, a "place of danger" by impeding efforts to stop the coronavirus's spread, and boost productivity at the expense of safety.

Amazon.com Inc has been sued for allegedly fostering the spread of the coronavirus by mandating unsafe working conditions.

The working conditions allegedly caused at least one employee to contract the deadly virus, bring it home, and see her cousin die.

One employee, Barbara Chandler, said she tested positive for coronavirus in March and later saw several household members became sick, including a cousin who died on April 7.

The lawsuit said Amazon has made JFK8, which employs about 5,000, a "place of danger" by impeding efforts to stop the coronavirus's spread, and boost productivity at the expense of safety.

The complaint was filed on Wednesday in the federal court in Brooklyn, New York, by three employees of the JFK8 fulfillment centre in Staten Island, and by family members.

It said Amazon forces employees to work at "dizzying speeds, even if doing so prevents them from socially distancing, washing their hands, and sanitizing their work spaces."

The Seattle-based company has benefitted from the coronavirus pandemic, which forced many consumers unable to visit physical stores to shop online more. But naysayers said Amazon has fired some critics of warehouse conditions.

At least 800 workers in US distribution centers have tested positive for COVID-19, according to an employee's unofficial tally.

Chief Executive Jeff Bezos said last week that Amazon has not fired people for raising such concerns, but such criticism would not excuse unrelated policy violations.

Amazon is spending more than $800 million (635.6 million pounds) on coronavirus safety in this year's first half, including for cleaning, temperature checks and face masks.

Wednesday's lawsuit seeks an injunction requiring that Amazon comply with worker safety and public nuisance laws, and not punish employees who develop COVID-19 symptoms or are quarantined.
 

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