Sep 27, 2021 Last Updated 22:07 PM EDT

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Amazon Faces Charges for Disregarding Workers' Safety Amid Pandemic

Feb 17, 2021 04:20 AM EST

Amazon to build $1.5 billion hub
(Photo : David McNew/GettyImages) Amazon to build $1.5 billion hub

Amazon is facing a lawsuit for failing to adequately protect its frontline employees during the COVID-19. The case was filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James on Tuesday. 

Amazon Facing a Lawsuit for COVID-19 Protocols

The e-commerce and tech giant reportedly did not do enough to protect its people when the pandemic was raging, as reported by Fox Business

While most companies trying to stay afloat in the middle of the coronavirus are doing their best so that their employees will remain healthy, regardless of how bad their businesses are being hit, Amazon, reportedly is doing the opposite.

The difference between Amazon and other small businesses became even more apparent since the gigantic company experienced an upward trend in its sales and performance in the middle of the crisis. 

The suit, stated that Amazon has violated labor laws by "repeatedly and persistently" failing to "institute reasonable and adequate measures to protect its workers" from COVID-19 at facilities in Staten Island and Queens.

According to the attorney general, Amazon has not set up the necessary sanitization procedures to secure the employees against the harsh virus, nor adjusted its productivity goals so the employees are not risking their health for work. 

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Amazon Blatantly Disregarded Employees' Safety? 

"Amazon's flagrant disregard for health and safety requirements has threatened serious illness and grave harm to the thousands of workers in these facilities and poses a continued substantial and specific danger to the public health," the lawsuit reads. 

This appears to be the culmination of all the complaints that the company has faced last year and the investigation started by the attorney's general office.

The company has already faced widespread scrutiny over the safety measures it has implemented around its fulfillment and distribution centers ever since the pandemic broke out.

James'  offices started the investigation into Amazon's workplace protocols when the company fired Christian Smalls, who worked for the company's facility in Staten Island, shortly after he drove an employee walkout in protest of the company's safety conditions. 

Amazon itself filed a suit against the attorney general a few days back. It was seen as an preemptive action against the expected charges from James, but it seems as if it did not work to halt the suit. 

"We care deeply about the health and safety of our employees, as demonstrated in our filing last week, and we don't believe the Attorney General's filing presents an accurate picture of Amazon's industry-leading response to the pandemic," Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel said in a statement.

Amazon even said that its safety protocols, "far exceed what is required under the law." The company even boasted of there were unannounced inspections in March and April conducted by the New York City sheriff's office wherein the verdict was that the company has gone beyond meeting safety requirements. 

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