Decide Arms Amazon A Setback In New York Lawsuit Over COVID-19 Shortfalls
A federal decide on Friday dominated towards Amazon.com Inc as the corporate defends towards New York Lawyer Normal Letitia James’ lawsuit claiming it prioritized revenue over employee security throughout the COVID-19 pandemic at two New York Metropolis warehouses.
U.S. District Decide Jed Rakoff in Manhattan granted James’ request to return her lawsuit to a New York state court docket, and rejected Amazon’s bid to maneuver it to Brooklyn federal court docket, the place the web retailer had sued James to cease her from suing.
James accused Amazon of ignoring its responsibility to take cheap steps to guard employees from the coronavirus at a Staten Island success heart and a Queens distribution heart, and retaliating towards employees who complained.
An Amazon spokeswoman declined to remark. Rakoff mentioned he’ll clarify the reasoning behind his two-paragraph order later.
“Amazon has pressured its staff to work in unsafe situations all through this pandemic,” James mentioned in welcoming her lawsuit’s transfer again to state court docket, “the place it belongs.”
Whereas the ruling didn’t tackle the dispute’s deserves, it’s a setback for Seattle-based Amazon, which accused James of overstepping her authority and mentioned federal legal guidelines somewhat than New York’s ought to govern office security.
Amazon mentioned each lawsuits belonged within the Brooklyn court docket as a result of Queens and Staten Island are in that jurisdiction, and suing in several courts was wasteful.
James mentioned Amazon had “minimize corners” in defending employees as a result of doing extra might threaten productiveness, gross sales quantity and profitability.
She mentioned she had authority to implement New York state regulation “to advertise correct enterprise conduct and be certain that present and future Amazon staff have a secure and sincere office.”
Her lawsuit seeks improved employee protections, and damages for 2 Amazon employees who allegedly confronted retaliation.
One, Christian Smalls, was fired one 12 months in the past, purportedly for violating a paid quarantine when main a protest over situations on the Staten Island warehouse.
James sued Amazon on Feb. 16, 4 days after Amazon sued her. Amazon then moved James’ lawsuit to federal court docket.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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