NEW YORK -- Amazon is suing the attorney general of New York in an effort to stop her from having the company over its coronavirus security protocols and the shooting of one of its outspoken employees.
The business said James threatened to sue if Amazon didn't agree to her list of requirements, including rehiring the employee, Christian Smalls, also paying him and the other fired worker substantial quantities of money.
James stated Friday that she will continue to reassess her legal options. In a statement, she predicted Amazon's lawsuit"a miserable effort to divert from the truth and shirk responsibility for its failures to protect hardworking workers from a fatal virus."
Amazon defended its COVID-19 safety protocols in the lawsuit, stating it hired specialists, added hand-sanitizer channels and signs alerting workers to stay at 6-feet apart from each other. Additionally, it stated that unannounced inspections in March and April from the nyc sheriff's office discovered the warehouse went above and beyond safety requirements.
Amazon fired Smalls in March after he led a walkout in the Staten Island warehouse to push the company to better protect its employees from the virus. Smalls said that he had been fired in retaliation and to stop other workers from speaking out. Amazon said it terminated Smalls since he violated social-distancing guidelines.
The business argued in court documents that only the federal government can mandate COVID-19 safety protocols and the attorney general's office doesn't have the legal jurisdiction"it purports to wield against Amazon."
Seattle-based Amazon is asking the court to stop James from pursuing any action against the business, and also to announce that she doesn't have authority on COVID-19 safety measures or to regulate claims that a employee was retaliated against.