On Friday, Democratic California Attorney General Rob Bonta filed a complaint against Amazon on behalf of Californians, alleging that the tech giant failed to follow California’s “right to Know” law requiring employers to notify workers and authorities of COVID-19 case numbers. Bonta argued that Amazon’s actions prevented the public from fully accessing COVID-19 information, and was seeking $2,500 for each violation of the relevant law.
And on Monday, Sacramento Superior Court handed down a stipulated judgment describing a $500,000 settlement amount, which Amazon was ordered, and agreed to pay within 30 days. The court is also requiring the tech giant to change how it notifies workers and health agencies of COVID-19 cases and to submit to monitoring regarding its COVID-19 notifications.
The specific law Amazon allegedly violated, Assembly Bill 685. was authored by California Assembly Majority Leader Eloise Gómez Reyes, and it requires employers to notify workers and local health agencies of certain COVID-19 related information.
Bonta said in a statement, “California law requires employers to notify workers of potential workplace exposures and to report outbreaks to local health agencies. Today’s first-of-its-kind judgement will help ensure Amazon meets that requirement for its tens of thousands of warehouse workers across California.”
Amazon’s spokeswoman Barbara Agrait told the Daily Caller News Foundations, “The company did not view the judgement as an indictment of its safety policies because the court’s judgement related to Amazon’s compliance with a specific California law.”
Agrait also added, “We’re glad to have this resolved and to see that the AG found no substantive issues with the safety measures in our buildings. We’ve worked hard from the beginning of the pandemic to keep our employees safe and deliver for our customers, incurring more than $15 billion in costs to date, and we’ll keep doing that in the months and years ahead.”
Majority Leader Reyes said in a statement, “I am happy that our Attorney General, Rob Bonta, is demanding accountability and transparency from employers who have been unwilling to follow a straightforward law designed to keep workers and their families safe in these challenging times.”
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