E-commerce giant Amazon will have to pay a fine worth $500,000 after it failed to adequately inform its workers and health authorities about the fresh COVID-19 cases. Amazon has nearly $150,000 employees in California and majority of them are working at the fulfillment centres where the orders are packed and shipped. As per an agreement, the retailer is expected to notify the workers in a day of the new coronavirus cases at the workplace.
It has also agreed to notify the local health agencies of the new virus cases in 48 hours. Amazon has in recent times faced booming sales with its stocks price doubling but it failed to adequately notify the warehouse workers along with the local health agencies for the COVID cases. Due to this people were not effectively track the spread of the virus. Under the situation, the workers were understandably terrified and had become powerless and were not able to make informed decisions for protecting themselves and protect their loved ones. Decisions like getting tested or staying at home quarantining were delayed.
However Amazon has agreed to pay the fines and Barbara Agrait the spokesperson in a statement said that they have solved the issues and have not found any substantive problems with the safety measures in their buildings. Currently it is not known how many employees have been exposed to the virus during the course of the pandemic. It was in the month of October 2020, when the company had disclosed that about 20,000 of its frontline workers in the US had tested positive or were presumed to be infected.
The current judgement is applied only in California and requires Amazon to allow the monitoring of the virus notifications for about a year. The workers are also expected to know about the pandemic-related benefits, protections and safety plans. The recent agreement has come as the company is currently gearing up for the holiday rush of deliveries.
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