New York AG Letitia James sues Amazon over alleged inadequate COVID safety protections

Amazon last week sued the NY attorney general, arguing her complaint was a matter of federal, not state law.

Updated: February 17, 2021 - 12:50pm

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The New York attorney general is suing Amazon over allegedly failing to provide adequate COVID safety protections for employees in New York City locations during the pandemic and retaliated against those who raised concerns about work conditions.

The case focuses on two Amazon facilities: a large warehouse on Staten Island and a delivery depot in Queens, according to the Associated Press.

Attorney General Lititia James in the complaint argues Amazon has failed to properly clean its buildings, conducted inadequate contact tracing for virus cases, and taken "swift retaliatory action" to silence complaints from workers, the wire service also reports.

"Amazon's extreme profits and exponential growth rate came at the expense of the lives, health and safety of its frontline workers," James argued in the complaint, filed in New York Supreme Court. 

Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel said in response: "We don’t believe the attorney general’s filing presents an accurate picture of Amazon’s industry-leading response to the pandemic."

Last week, Amazon preemptively sued James in federal court, attempting to stop her from bringing the charges. The company argued workplace safety is a matter of federal, not state, law, the Associated Press also reports.

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