Legislators demand that Amazon protect its workers

JOB. Lawmakers increase pressure to hold Amazon accountable for workplace injuries. | Photo: Jovelle Tamayo for The Washington Post.

A group of lawmakers is increasing pressure on Amazon for policies they say cause injuries and unworthy workplace situations in its massive and growing warehouse operations.

The context: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York, sent a letter to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) chair Charlotte Burrows on Thursday. He urged the agency to investigate “Amazon’s systemic failure to provide adequate housing” for pregnant warehouse workers.

  • The letter cites instances in which Amazon failed to modify job duties or allow reasonable time off, in possible violation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Five other senators, including Senator Bernie Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren, both Democrats, signed Gillibrand’s letter.
  • The request for an investigation comes as lawmakers pressure Amazon to better protect its employees on other fronts.
  • On Wednesday, the California State Senate passed legislation aimed at reducing the use of productivity quotas in warehouses.

What do they say? “Amazon has been notified and has not fixed these problems,” Gillibrand said in an interview with The Washington Post. “One of the largest employers in America has insufficient liability.”

  • “If the company doesn’t protect workers, we have to intervene,” said Lorena González, a California Democratic Assemblywoman.

Main source of the news: The Washington Post.


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