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New York attorney general sues Amazon, alleging ‘deficient’ Covid-19 response

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In the complaint filed in state court on Tuesday, New York Attorney General Letitia James argued that Amazon (AMZN) violated labor law with its “flawed” response to the pandemic.

The lawsuit claims the company did not shut down its cleaning facilities when it discovered worker infections and failed to notify workers who had come into contact with infected colleagues. He also claims Amazon has not given employees sufficient leeway to perform cleanings, practice social distancing and take other preventative measures.

“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 from the spread of the virus” at its facilities in the city of New York, which includes a distribution center in Staten Island and a distribution center in Queens, according to the complaint. “Amazon’s blatant disregard for health and safety requirements has threatened serious illness and injury to the thousands of workers at these facilities and poses a continuing substantial and specific danger to public health.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The dispute between Amazon and New York has been brewing for some time. Last week, the company filed a preventive lawsuit, asking a federal court to prevent James from using state law to enforce his demands for the company to subsidize public transportation. and hires a health and safety consultant.

Describing James’ demands as “exorbitant demands”, Amazon argued in this case that its existing protections for workers “far exceed what is required by law” and “go far beyond measures” that the Attorney General “deemed complete”.

Amazon cited the company’s temperature control policy, signs indicating social distancing and employee staggering at its Staten Island facility as a few examples of how it went above and beyond. An inspection by the city’s sheriff’s office, Amazon said, found “absolutely no area of ​​concern.”

Prior to this legal deposit, James found that Amazon did not meet health and safety standards in the company’s warehouses.

And other Amazon critics, including a number of its own employees, said the company was slow to address the risks the coronavirus posed to frontline workers.

Amazon does not have announce temperature projections, for example, up to many reports of disease and epidemics at Amazon facilities across the country.

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