California's AG said Amazon left warehouse workers 'in the dark' about COVID-19 cases. Now the tech giant is paying the state $500,000.
California's Attorney General said Amazonfailed to properly notify staff about COVID-19cases in warehouses.
- Amazon had agreed to pay $500,000 as part of a settlement,
Rob Bontasaid Monday.
California Attorney General Rob Bonta said Monday that Amazon had failed to keep workers and authorities fully updated on how many COVID-19 cases it had detected in its workplaces, and that the tech giant had agreed to pay $500,000 as part of a settlement.
Amazon "failed to adequately notify
Bonta's original complaint, from earlier in November, said Amazon's notification system was insufficient. It notified workers to new cases, but did not specify how many new cases there were, per the complaint. Bonta's complaint also said that in some cases Amazon failed to send a notification to workers within one business day.
Amazon will pay $500,000 towards "further enforcement of California's consumer protection laws" as part of the settlement, Bonta's press release said.
Amazon had also promised to modify how it alerted workers to new COVID-19 cases in its workplaces, allow closer monitoring by local authorities, and alert authorities within 48 hours when it detects a new case, the release said.
"As our nation continues to battle the pandemic, it is absolutely critical that businesses do their part to protect workers now — and especially during this holiday season," Bonta said in a statement.
"Today's first-of-its-kind judgment will help ensure Amazon meets that requirement for its tens of thousands of warehouse workers across California," he added.
An Amazon spokesperson told CNBC there would be no changes to, and that there was no alleged problems with, the company's protocols for alerting workers to COVID-19 cases.
"We're glad to have this resolved and to see that the
Amazon did not immediately respond when contacted by Insider.
The settlement is still subject to court approval.
Amazon workers told Insider in April 2020 that they weren't being told about all the potential COVID-19 exposures in their warehouses.
Amazon stopped testing employees for COVID-19 in July 2021, and announced earlier in November that fullynvaccinated warehouse staff no longer had to wear masks.
The company offered a lottery with a jackpot of $500,000 to workers who signed up to get vaccinated.
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