The Amazon corporation has recently been called out for work safety concerns and employment law violations. As reported by The Guardian, numerous Amazon warehouse employees have suffered serious injuries at work and then received shocking, cold-shoulder treatment instead of appropriate care. Ailing employees have been denied workers’ compensation benefits, and some have experienced retaliation after reporting injuries.
Amazon Workers’ Compensation Case in Tampa
The Guardian investigation found workers injured by faulty equipment as well as repetitive stress injuries caused by physically demanding tasks performed on a daily basis. These warehouse accidents and injuries have sparked many labor lawsuits against Amazon, including wrongful termination cases. In a recent Tampa case, a former employee sued after he was fired from a local Amazon facility. Reporting a back injury caused by lifting heavy boxes, he received the runaround on his workers’ compensation claim and then was abruptly terminated.
Warehouse Conditions for Amazon Workers
Amazon “fulfillment centers” have been cropping up all over the world and there are now 140 in the United States. Florida has two main warehouses, one in Lakeland and a 1.1-million-square- foot center that opened in Ruskin in 2014. Employees in these facilities often operate dangerous equipment, work on elevated ladders, and lift heavy packages. Many workers spend their workday on tasks involving repetitive movements that can strain knees and cause stress on the spine and lower back.
Amazon’s commitment to ultra-efficiency has helped propel founder Jeff Bezos to hold the status of “richest man in modern history”. But, this fast-paced productivity may also create a work environment that is dangerous for employees. In a Business Insider article, Amazon workers reported pressure to meet quotas and avoid spending time “off task.”
Additionally, Amazon was at the top of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (COSH) 2018 “Dirty Dozen” list, which cites employers who “put workers and communities at risk.” In addition to employee injuries, COSH reported that seven workers have been killed at Amazon warehouses since 2013.
Amazon Employees: Know Your Labor Law Rights
A number of court cases involve workers’ compensation claims, alleging that Amazon does not always honor its legal commitment to protect injured workers. Amazon facility management are accused of failing to submit workers’ comp claims, denying appropriate coverage, and going so far as to fire injured workers. Under federal and state laws, dismissing an employee because they report a workplace injury is considered illegal termination.
If you are injured at an Amazon warehouse, you need to know your rights and take steps to ensure they are honored. Your employer is obligated to provide workers’ comp coverage for all employees, and once you have reported an injury, they must notify the insurance carrier within 10 days. You have the right to representation by a qualified attorney through the workers’ compensation claim process.
Are You an Injured Amazon Employee?
Feldman Williams assists injured workers with workers’ compensation claims, including benefits negotiation and representation for appeals. We also handle retaliation and wrongful termination cases. If you have been injured at a local Amazon fulfillment center or related facility, don’t hesitate to contact us today.