Instead of asking for more money, the plaintiffs want better working conditions and allege Amazon's quotas don't allow workers time to properly sanitize their hands and workspaces. They also say the company has not provided enough personal protective equipment.
“We are saddened by the tragic impact COVID-19 has had on communities across the globe, including on some Amazon team members and their family and friends," an Amazon spokesperson told FOX Business. "We also invested $4 billion from April to June on COVID-related initiatives, including over $800 million in the first half of this year on safety measures like temperature checks, masks, gloves, enhanced cleaning and sanitization, extended pay and benefits options, testing, and more."
The employees who filed the complaint work at Amazon's JFK8 warehouse on Staten Island, including Barbara Chandler, who said she tested positive for coronavirus in March. Chandler said her family members also got sick, and her cousin died with COVID-like symptoms on April 7 at the age of 37.
“I’ve worked at Amazon for three years, and I’ve been promoted since I’ve been there, too," Chandler told FOX Business in a statement. "We all want Amazon to succeed because, when they do, we win as well. It’s gotten to the point where we’ve needed to go to court to protect our health, and the health of our households and our communities, but if Amazon takes this opportunity to listens to those of us who are in the facilities every day, it’s a win-win situation."
Lawyers from the progressive group Make the Road NY are part of the suit.
Amazon workers led by former Amazon employee Christian Smalls staged a small walkout over coronavirus conditions at JFK8 in March.
A similar suit has also been filed in an Oregon court.