New York Attorney General Letitia James has filed a lawsuit against technology giant Amazon for violating workplace safety rules. The lawsuit claims the company failed to provide healthy and safe working conditions for employees in two New York Amazon facilities during the coronavirus pandemic. At the same time, Amazon also filed a lawsuit claiming federal and safety labor laws take precedence over New York state laws.
“This lawsuit highlights an employer’s risk of being sued for not taking substantial precautions for a serious risk to workers’ health,” says labor and employment attorney Rogge Dunn of the Rogge Dunn Group.
“Not only can states bring lawsuits, but OSHA requires an employer to have a safe workplace. OSHA can take legal action against employers. Further, OSHA holds that under certain limited circumstances employees can refuse to work if they have a reasonable apprehension that doing their assigned work might lead to death or serious illness. Finally, if an employee can prove that they contracted COVID while at their workplace, an employer could face a worker’s compensation lawsuit.
“These are real legal and PR risks. Employers are better off taking measures to make their workplaces and storefronts safe.”
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