Posted April 28, 2020
Amazon is likely to face legal repercussions after failing to provide adequate protection to employees, reports indicate. In an April 27 NPR article, it was reported that the company may have violated federal safety standards in a New York warehouse, which brings about the issue of warehouse safety and the well-being of employees.
In a letter by New York lawyer Letitia James, the company may have also violated whistleblower laws. “While we continue to investigate, the information so far available to us raises concerns that Amazon’s health and safety measures taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are so inadequate that they may violate several provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act,” the letter explained.
The New York warehouses had already been under strict scrutiny after an employee was reportedly fired for staging a protest after numerous outbreaks of COVID-19 occurred in the Staten Island warehouse.
While state mandates will greatly alter what protocols businesses must adhere to for social distancing and safety measures, when keeping up with supply seems to be the only thing on a company’s mind, employees are right to be fearful.
Employee Rights During COVID-19 Outbreaks – Warehouse Safety
Though much of our world is in turmoil, it does not mean you give up your employee rights. Under both federal and state laws:
- It is illegal for an employer to force you to work in unsafe conditions.
- It is illegal for your employer to not pay you for the extra hours you’ve worked.
In addition, if you speak out against violations your employer has committed, you legally cannot be retaliated against, including being terminated.
How to Protect Your Rights During COVID-19
If you are facing similar workplace issues as those employed by Amazon, you may wonder what steps you can take to protect your rights. First and foremost, you need to communicate with your employer. You need to bring up the issue at hand before taking any rash actions. Chances are, your employer will want to avoid legal action just as much as you do.
However, if your employer is not cooperating or taking your claims seriously, you may want to take action. Be sure to maintain your own documentation to have on hand. If other coworkers want to be involved, ask them to keep records too, signing and dating any information you will be submitting to an attorney.
You’ll then want to be mindful of timelines. State and federal laws vary on time limitations so it’s important to seek legal action immediately if your rights are being violated and your employer has not taken the initiative to do right by you.
Lastly, you’ll need to have an experienced workers rights attorney by your side.
Contact us today for more information.
Whether you are employed by a corporate giant like Amazon or a medium-sized company, you have rights. We are working with lawyers across the country who can handle your claim, no matter the size of the opposition. Contact us today to be connected to an employee rights attorney today.
Posted in Employee Rights.