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California wants pandemic cases info from Amazon

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The state of California has accused Amazon of failing to adequately comply with subpoenas demanding details about coronavirus cases and protocols at its facilities./AFP
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Dec 15, 2020 - 06:22 AM

SAN FRANCISCO — California on Monday accused Amazon of failing to adequately comply with subpoenas demanding details about coronavirus cases and protocols at its facilities here.

State attorney general Xavier Becerra filed a petition calling on a California judge to order the e-commerce colossus to provide the information being sought, according to his office.

“It’s critical to know if these workers are receiving the protections on the job that they are entitled to under the law,” Becerra said, referring to Amazon employees in California.

“Amazon has delayed responding adequately to our investigative requests long enough.”

The petition to the court argues that the e-commerce giant has not provided information being sought as part of an investigation into Amazon’s coronavirus protocols and the status of COVID-19 cases at its facilities.

Subpoenas were issued by the California department of justice four months ago, according to Becerra.

“We’re puzzled by the Attorney General’s sudden rush to court because we’ve been working cooperatively for months and their claims of noncompliance with their demands don’t line up with the facts,” Amazon said in response to an AFP inquiry.

“The bottom line is that we’re a leader in providing COVID-19 safety measures for our employees – we’ve invested billions of dollars in equipment and technology, including building on-site testing for employees and providing personal protective equipment.”

Information sought by state attorneys included Amazon sick leave policies and cleaning procedures, as well as raw data on the number of infections and deaths at their facilities in the state.

Seattle-based Amazon has seen sales, and pressure on its logistics network to deliver, soar during the pandemic as people shop online to reduce health risk.

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