Reuters reports that a New York Amazon employee has been joined by two colleagues in filing a lawsuit against the e-commerce giant, alleging the company is fostering the spread of coronavirus due to its unsafe working conditions.
Barbara Chandler, a worker at Amazon’s Staten Island distribution center, reportedly contracted COVID-19 in March, and over subsequent weeks, several of her family members contracted it as well — including a cousin who died in April of related complications.
And the lawsuit has some pretty harsh accusations about the role of Chandler’s employer. While Amazon contends that it is following guidance for COVID-specific work safety, the suit alleges that warehouse employees are forced to work at “dizzying speeds, even if doing so prevents them from socially distancing, washing their hands, and sanitizing their work spaces.”
The lawsuit accuses Amazon of boosting productivity at the expense of safety as it navigated a surge in e-commerce spending, calling it a “place of danger.”
And despite spending $800 million on safety measures related to COVID-19 — including masks, additional cleaning and temperature monitoring — Amazon has still had some 800 workers test positive for the virus.
Amazon is not the only business facing lawsuits over COVID-19. Tyson was recently sued by the family of a worker, who allegedly contracted the virus at a Texas meatpacking plant and later died.