The complaint, filed privately by the state’s Human Rights Service Wednesday, concerns an alleged violation of state law by giving site managers the ability to override reasonable accommodation recommendations by in-house Amazon officials, known as Accommodation Consultants, who are tasked with reviewing such requests. .
As noted by Hochul’s office, in one of several cases cited in the complaint, New York officials claimed that a pregnant Amazon worker was forced to take unpaid leave after being injured at work while lifting packages weighing more than 25 pounds. heavy lifting worker.
Hochul’s office said the complaint “requests a decision that requires Amazon to end its discriminatory behavior, adopt non-discriminatory policies and practices regarding the review of reasonable regulation requests, train its employees on the provisions of the Human Rights Act, and pay a fine.” Penalties to the State of New York.”
did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Amazon, the nation’s second-largest private employer, is known in part for its ultra-efficient warehouses, which relies heavily on keeping a close eye on worker productivity, and has faced scrutiny in recent years for its high turnover rates and workplace injury. The pandemic, in which Amazon employees are deemed essential, has only raised concerns about workplace conditions.
However, the company has faced increased backlash from some workers and regulators, including New York, during the pandemic. Amazon has faced efforts to unionize at two warehouse facilities in New York City that have recently received enough support to vote. Workers at the larger facility, known as JFK8, successfully voted in favor, becoming the first Amazon workers to formally unionize in the United States. Amazon defies results.
Earlier this month, a New York appeals court dismissed a lawsuit filed by State Attorney General Letitia James over the company’s response to the pandemic. Morgan Rubin, first deputy press secretary of James’ office, told CNN Business last week: “As our office reviews the decision and our options going forward, Attorney General James Amazon unfairly treats employees and all workers.”
Amazon had previously disputed the allegations in James’ lawsuit. “We care deeply about the health and safety of our employees,” the company said in a previous statement. “We do not believe the attorney general’s application offers an accurate picture of Amazon’s industry-leading response to the pandemic.”
Meanwhile, following pressure from shareholders, Amazon announced in a filing last month that it will conduct an audit to “assess the racial implications” of its policies on its hourly workers in the United States.