Senators call for investigation of Amazon for alleged pregnancy discrimination

Senators call for investigation of Amazon for alleged pregnancy discrimination

Six senators sent a letter to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission urging the agency to investigate Amazon’s treatment of pregnant warehouse workers.

Censors Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York, Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Bob Casey, Jr., D-Pa., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. , asked the EEOC on Friday to investigate Amazon’s “systemic failure to provide adequate housing” to pregnant warehouse workers.

Lawmakers say Amazon does not adequately review the duties of pregnant employees who are subjected to physically strenuous work that can threaten their health and safety. They also claim that Amazon does not allow pregnant workers to be absent without being punished for medical needs related to the pregnancy.

Lawmakers say both actions may violate the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The letter cites as examples various reports and a previous EEOC complaint filed by an Amazon employee in Oklahoma in 2020 “about the mistreatment of pregnant employees at Amazon fulfillment centers.”

In a 2020 EEOC complaint, the Amazon worker claimed the company refused her job transfer requests, punished her for pregnancy-related absenteeism and “not allowed with her doctor in the aim to modify his work restrictions ”. made contact, ”according to the letter.

Amazon representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos addressed workplace safety concerns in his last letter to shareholders in April, pledging to make the company “the best employer on the planet and the safest place to work. of the planet”.

The company has previously said it is investing billions of dollars in new safety measures and technologies, including adding more than 6,200 employees to its occupational health and safety team.

The letter comes as Amazon faces increasing pressure to address concerns over warehouse working conditions from lawmakers.

Earlier this week, the California State Senate passed a landmark bill that would require warehouse employers like Amazon to disclose productivity quotas to employees and government agencies, and ban the use of non-quota quotas. guaranteed allowing workers to stop taking breaks. The bill passed the final vote in the state assembly on Thursday and is now going to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s table for signature or veto.

The Seattle Times reported that in May, Washington state workplace regulators fined Amazon $ 7,000 for a security breach at a DuPont warehouse in Washington state. . According to the Times, regulators have linked a “very fast pace of work” to the increase in employee injuries at the facility.

Amazon is also under increasing scrutiny from its employees. Warehouse workers at an Amazon factory in Alabama have raised concerns about safety and inadequate brakes amid a high-profile but ultimately unsuccessful union campaign.


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