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Amazon to Pay California $500,000 for ‘Concealing’ COVID Cases Among Employees

Amazon to Pay California $500,000 for ‘Concealing’ COVID Cases Among Employees

In addition to funding even more enforcement actions under supposed “consumer protection laws”, Amazon also agreed to make changes to its workplace policies.

Trust California to be at the forefront of any legislation that blends hysteria with a chance to pilfer corporations.

Amazon has now agreed to pay $500,000 to the state of California after it was accused of concealing COVID-19 case numbers from its workers.

This marks the first such action under the state’s new “right to know” law meant to improve workplace safety. Of course, the politico leading the charge is doing a victory lap.

In a statement from his office Monday, Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta also said Amazon agreed to submit to monitoring and improve how it notifies workers and local health agencies of COVID-19 cases in its workplaces. The measures come “at a crucial time for workers as Amazon’s peak holiday season approaches,” the statement 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 the statement. “Californians have a right to know about potential exposures to the coronavirus to protect themselves, their families, and their communities.”

The argument made against Amazon was that its reporting practices were “inadequate”.

Throughout the pandemic, Bonta said Amazon inadequately notified warehouse workers and local health agencies of Covid case numbers, “often leaving them in the dark and unable to effectively track the spread of the virus.”

Amazon sends notifications of new Covid cases to warehouse workers via its internal messaging portal, called A to Z, and works to determine if other employees came into contact with the person who tested positive by reviewing on site camera footage, as well as interviewing workers.

Warehouse and delivery workers have previously criticized Amazon’s contact tracing and case notification protocols, claiming they’re inadequate.

In addition to paying $500,000 toward even more enforcement actions under supposed “consumer protection laws”, Amazon also agreed to make changes to its workplace policies.

Under the agreement, Amazon must notify warehouse workers within one day of the exact number of new COVID-19 cases, adequately inform workers of disinfection and safety plans and employees’ COVID-19 related rights, notify health agencies of COVID-19 cases within 48 hours to avoid potential outbreaks and submit to monitoring by the California attorney general’s office regarding its COVID-19 notifications.

“Today’s first-of-its-kind judgment will help ensure Amazon meets that requirement for its tens of thousands of warehouse workers across California,” Bonta said. “Bottom line: Californians have a right to know about potential exposure to the coronavirus to protect themselves, their families and their communities.”

The coronavirus is now endemic, and we will be experiencing cycles of infection for quite some time. How are rules like this practical, or sensible, of you consider employees have dealt with severe flu and other common infectious diseases since the first business officially opened its doors thousands of years ago?

How easy would it be to “contact trace” cold and flu cases, in a way that would be “adequate”? The is a great example of how the continuing response to the coronavirus will be used to continue to bludgeon American businesses.

Frankly, I would be more impressed if the state required employers to report adverse reactions to the vaccines that employees are mandated to take.  That information would be invaluable to all Americans as well as California employees.

Finally, if stunts such as this fuel inflation, as that $500,000 is coming from the pockets of Californians in some form or fashion.


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Dolce Far Niente | November 16, 2021 at 2:19 pm

Its such a pity that contact tracing has proven absolutely useless in preventing transmission of covid, or of any common respiratory disease for that matter.

Because it sounds like such a GOOD IDEA, leftists will insist that it be implemented despite any evidence of its purposelessness. Because reality must be forced to submit to pointless virtue signalling.

Or else we’ll fine you $500,000.

Amazon has a dashboard available that gives you access to cameras and you can monitor activity in the field of view of the camera. They also have biometric scanning enabled on all cameras and you can monitor yourself on strategically-placed screens. If you got within 6 feet of someone the blue circle around your image on the monitor turns red and the video captured for review and comparison to geotags in employee badges. Yes, you are tracked just like merchandise!

Yet they wonder why we can trust them.

bart simpsonson | November 16, 2021 at 7:00 pm

How was Mexifornia harmed by Amazon’s subterfuge? Why does Mexifornia get to collect half a million $ for this? Shouldn’t the employees of Amazon be compensated for this subterfuge? And a lot more that half a million $ divided by however many employees were kept in the dark.

That said I AIN’T SKEERED OF THE WUHAN RED DEATH. I also pay ZERO attention to ANY stats propagated by the anti-American conspirators regarding same. Stand up or kneel down. America was begun by those who stood up to the Crown of England instead of kneeling before it.

    henrybowman in reply to bart simpsonson. | November 17, 2021 at 12:06 am

    Shut up. It’s consumer protection.

    Verra Mobility and Hertz Car Rental settled a toll road lawsuit with the City of San Francisco in February 2019. The city sued both companies two years ago because the PlatePass toll-charging service they operate together had been gouging users of the Golden Gate Bridge. Verra Mobility (renamed ticket camera company America Traffic Solutions) and Hertz were charging customers for the cost of tolls and automated traffic tickets along with administrative fees, often when drivers weren’t using toll roads. In a settlement, both companies agreed to pay the city of San Francisco $3.6 Million, instead of refunds to car renters.

    Don’t you get it now?
    Gouging consumers is a crime against the state.
    The state collects huge fines.
    The consumers stay gouged.

$500,000? What a joke. That’s literally pocket change to Bezos.

This is just Amazon using this as an excuse for why they continue their insane oppression of their workforce.

Well, that amount will certainly cut into this week’s coffee budget.