Amazon has been facing increased scrutiny over alleged workplace safety issues. For example, a former employee at an Amazon warehouse in Pennsylvania was reportedly fired five weeks after being hurt on the job. She was refused the paperwork for a workers’ compensation claim and had her short-term disability benefits cut short. This is just one instance of the alleged improper treatment of workers in Amazon warehouses. There are more than 140 fulfillment centers across the U.S. and approximately 560,000 Amazon employees worldwide.
That Amazon warehouses are dangerous has been known for a while now. In April 2018, the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health compiled a “dirty dozen” list of the most dangerous workplaces in the U.S., and Amazon was among those listed. A total of seven workers have died in Amazon warehouses since 2013, with three of those fatalities occurring within five weeks of each other in 2017.
However, recent claims that injured workers are being left without benefits have prompted an investigation by the Guardian into Amazon’s workplace conditions.
Some former workers are filing lawsuits against the corporation. For example, a 43-year-old former employee in Florida filed a suit because his managers failed to file a workers’ comp claim and fired him before Amazon Human Resources authorized a doctor visit. Others report quitting because of continual fatigue and exhaustion.
Even when there is no violation of workplace safety standards, injured employees have the right to file for workers’ comp benefits and be covered for medical expenses and lost income. Claims can be denied, however, so it’s often a good idea to retain a lawyer for the process. Legal counsel could help victims decide if receiving a lump-sum settlement instead of weekly or biweekly benefits is better.