Amazon Inc.’s safety measures and labor practices during the coronavirus pandemic are being investigated by New York’s top law enforcement officer after the company fired the leader of a Staten Island warehouse walkout.
New York Attorney General Letitia James told Amazon in an April 22 letter that the state is looking into whether the company violated federal employment law or ran afoul of state whistle-blower protections bydismissing the worker, Chris Smalls, her spokesperson confirmed on Monday.
James’s preliminary finding is that Amazon may have fired Smalls to silence him and that the working conditions at the facility may have violated provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the spokesperson said. The letter was obtained and reported first by National Public Radio.
The attorney general’s office declined to comment further. Last month, Jamescalled Smalls’s firing “immoral and inhumane.” Her deputy labor bureau chief tweeted the NPR report Monday night.
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