James stated Friday that she will certainly remain to examine her lawful choices. In a declaration, she called Amazon’s claim “a depressing effort to sidetrack from the realities as well as shirk responsibility for its failings to safeguard dedicated staff members from a lethal infection.”
Amazon defended its COVID-19 safety protocols in the lawsuit, saying it hired experts, added hand-sanitizer stations and signs alerting workers to stay at least 6-feet apart from each other. It also said that unannounced inspections in March and April by the New York City sheriff’s office found the warehouse went above and beyond safety requirements.
Amazon fired Smalls in March after he led a walkout at the Staten Island warehouse to push the company to better protect its workers from the virus. Smalls said he was fired in retaliation and to stop other workers from speaking out. Amazon said it terminated Smalls because he violated social-distancing guidelines.
The company argued in court documents that only the federal government can mandate COVID-19 safety protocols and that the attorney general’s office doesn’t have the legal authority “it purports to wield against Amazon.”
Seattle-based Amazon is asking the court to quit James from seeking any kind of activity versus the firm, as well as to state that she does not command on COVID-19 precaution or to manage cases that an employee was struck back versus.