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Judge Hands Amazon A Setback In New York Lawsuit Over COVID-19 Shortfalls

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James sued Amazon on Feb. 16, 4 days after Amazon sued her. (File)

New York:

A federal decide on Friday dominated towards Amazon.com Inc as the corporate defends towards New York Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit claiming it prioritized revenue over employee security through the COVID-19 pandemic at two New York City warehouses.

U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan granted James’ request to return her lawsuit to a New York state court docket, and rejected Amazon’s bid to maneuver it to Brooklyn federal court docket, the place the net retailer had sued James to cease her from suing.

James accused Amazon of ignoring its obligation to take affordable steps to guard staff from the coronavirus at a Staten Island achievement heart and a Queens distribution heart, and retaliating towards staff who complained.

An Amazon spokeswoman declined to remark. Rakoff mentioned he’ll clarify the reasoning behind his two-paragraph order later.

“Amazon has forced its employees to work in unsafe conditions throughout this pandemic,” James mentioned in welcoming her lawsuit’s transfer again to state court docket, “where it belongs.”

While the ruling didn’t deal with the dispute’s deserves, it’s a setback for Seattle-based Amazon, which accused James of overstepping her authority and mentioned federal legal guidelines slightly than New York’s ought to govern office security.

Amazon mentioned each lawsuits belonged within the Brooklyn court docket as a result of Queens and Staten Island are in that jurisdiction, and suing in several courts was wasteful.

James mentioned Amazon had “cut corners” in defending staff as a result of doing extra may threaten productiveness, gross sales quantity and profitability.

She mentioned she had authority to implement New York state regulation “to promote proper business conduct and ensure that current and future Amazon employees have a safe and honest workplace.”

Her lawsuit seeks improved employee protections, and damages for 2 Amazon staff who allegedly confronted retaliation.

One, Christian Smalls, was fired one 12 months in the past, purportedly for violating a paid quarantine when main a protest over circumstances on the Staten Island warehouse.

James sued Amazon on Feb. 16, 4 days after Amazon sued her. Amazon then moved James’ lawsuit to federal court docket.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV workers and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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