Employees make their way through the aisles, collecting items before sending them to the control room on site to pack at one of Amazon’s largest UK warehouses in Dunfermline, Fife.
Jane Barlow | Images PA | Getty Images
New York Gov. Katie Hochul said Wednesday that the Human Rights Division has filed a complaint against Amazon, claiming it discriminates against pregnant workers and women with disabilities at its businesses.
Amazon is also allegedly forcing pregnant workers and workers with disabilities to take unpaid leave rather than providing them with smart devices, the complaint said.
The state cites several cases where Amazon allegedly failed to reasonably accommodate workers at its facilities. In one incident, a pregnant worker was allowed not to lift packages over £ 25, but the manager refused to monitor the housing, which meant the worker continued to lift heavy objects.
Amazon refused additional space after the worker was injured, and after that they were sent on “indefinite unpaid leave,” the complaint alleges.
The department argues that Amazon does not provide smart devices, in part because it allows managers to redefine recommendations made by “placement consultants” whose job it is to evaluate and recommend placement.
Investigators allege that Amazon’s conduct violates the state’s human rights law, which prohibits discrimination against pregnant and disabled workers, among other factors, in the workplace.
They call on Amazon to “pay civil fines and penalties to New York State” and to end discriminatory behavior and adopt non-discriminatory policies and practices regarding housing requests, among other remedies.
Amazon’s practices, including the treatment of pregnant workers, have been criticized in the past. Amazon has faced lawsuits from workers at its warehouses claiming the company did not satisfy them when they were pregnant and then fired them for failing to meet performance standards, CNET reports.
And last September, six U.S. senators wrote to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, urging the agency to investigate “material of ill-treatment of pregnant employees” in Amazon warehouses.
Amazon officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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