Amazon is asking a courtroom to dam New York’s legal professional common from bringing a case towards it over office security or the firing of staff who protested its coronavirus response.
In a submitting within the Japanese District Court docket of New York, the e-commerce big argued that the well being and security of its employees is out of Lawyer Normal Letitia James’s purview.
“Extra elementary than making use of an inconsistent and incorrect customary, the OAG lacks the authorized authority it purports to wield towards Amazon,” the submitting reads.
James’s workplace has threatened authorized motion towards Amazon for each its dealing with of the coronavirus pandemic and the firing of Chris Smalls, who led an worker protest on the firm’s Staten Island facility after a co-worker examined optimistic.
Amazon argued in Friday’s lawsuit that its security protocols have gone above and past necessities to guard its employees from COVID-19, touting a $800 million funding in security measures through the first half of 2020.
It additionally pointed to internally collected knowledge suggesting that Amazon and Entire Meals front-line employees in New York have examined optimistic for the illness at a fee 50 % decrease than the overall inhabitants of the state.
Along with arguments about its precautions, Amazon argues that the Occupational Security and Well being Act preempts the usage of state legislation to manage office security.
Amazon’s dealing with of the pandemic has been closely criticized by its employees. Protests have been organized throughout the nation after hundreds of employees fell in poor health and a few died.
The corporate revealed in October that almost 20,000 of its staff in the USA had examined optimistic for COVID-19. It has not publicly up to date the numbers since.
One of many first of the protests over the coronavirus situations was in Staten Island, after which Smalls and Derrick Palmer have been fired. Amazon maintains, and argued within the lawsuit, that they have been fired for violating well being and security protocols.
A memo was leaked quickly after the firings detailing plans to smear Smalls, a Black man, as “not good or articulate.”
Amazon’s submitting argues that the deserves of a possible case over the dismissals apart, the Occupational Security and Well being Administration and Nationwide Labor Relations Board have jurisdiction in that area.
James known as the lawsuit an effort to “intimidate” her workplace in a press release Friday.
“All through this pandemic, Amazon staff have been pressured to work in unsafe situations, all whereas the corporate and its CEO made billions off of their backs,” she stated.
“Let me be clear: We won’t be intimidated by anybody, particularly company bullies that put earnings over the well being and security of working folks. We stay undeterred in our efforts to guard employees from exploitation and can proceed to assessment all of our authorized choices.”