Vertiv Introduces New Single-Phase Uninterruptible Power Supply for Distributed Information Technology (IT) Networks and Edge Computing Applications in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA)Read more Students from JA Zimbabwe Win 2023 De La Vega Global Entrepreneurship AwardRead more Top International Prospects to Travel to Salt Lake City for Seventh Annual Basketball Without Borders Global CampRead more Rise of the Robots as Saudi Arabia Underscores Global Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) Aspirations with DeepFest Debut at LEAP23Read more Somalia: ‘I sold the last three goats, they were likely to die’Read more Merck Foundation and African First Ladies marking World Cancer Day 2023 through 110 scholarships of Oncology Fellowships in 25 countriesRead more Supporting women leaders and aspirants to unleash their potentialRead more Fake medicines kill almost 500,000 sub-Saharan Africans a year: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reportRead more Climate crisis and migration: Greta Thunberg supports International Organization for Migration (IOM) over ‘life and death’ issueRead more United Nations (UN) Convenes Lake Chad Countries, Amid Growing Regional CrisisRead more

New York agency accuses Amazon of workforce discrimination

show caption
New York state accused Amazon of allowing worksite managers to override accommodations consultants when they urge flexibility for workers protected under human rights law./AFP
Print Friendly and PDF

May 19, 2022 - 09:30 AM

NEW YORK — New York state accused Amazon Wednesday of discriminating against pregnant workers and staff with disabilities by refusing to make reasonable accommodations.

The state’s Division of Human Rights faulted Amazon for allowing worksite managers to override accommodations consultants when they urged flexibility for workers protected under law.

“My administration will hold any employer accountable, regardless of how big or small, if they do not treat their workers with the dignity and respect they deserve,” said New York Governor Kathy Hochul in a statement that described Amazon as having 23 worksites in New York with more than 39,000 workers.

In one case, a pregnant worker asked not to be required to lift packages over 25 pounds. The worksite manager refused to make the accommodation, resulting in an injury that forced the employee into “indefinite unpaid leave,” the agency said.

In another case, a worksite manager denied a request from a worker with a documented disability who presented medical documentation justifying the need for a specific sleep schedule.

After initially recommending the accommodation, the consultant reversed position after the site manager refused to grant the change, the agency said.

“Since the 1970s — years before the (federal) Americans with Disabilities Act — New York State has prohibited discrimination against pregnant employees in the workplace,” said Melissa Franco, deputy commissioner for enforcement at the agency.

“The division will work to ensure that everyone in our state is fully afforded the rights and dignities that the law requires.”

The agency is seeking an administrative order requiring Amazon to cease the current conduct, train managers on how to handle requests for reasonable accommodation and pay civil fines.

Amazon told AFP in a statement that it was “surprised” by Hochul’s announcement, saying it had been cooperating with the investigation and “had no indication a complaint was coming.”

The e-commerce giant said it had “numerous programs” in place to make sure that all its employees felt supported.

“While we don’t always get it right with a workforce of over 1.6 million people, we work diligently to offer the best available options to accommodate individual situations,” Amazon said in the statement.

MAORANDCITIES.COM uses both Facebook and Disqus comment systems to make it easier for you to contribute. We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles and blog posts. All comments should be relevant to the topic. By posting, you agree to our Privacy Policy. We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, name-calling, foul language or other inappropriate behavior. Please keep your comments relevant and respectful. By leaving the ‘Post to Facebook’ box selected – when using Facebook comment system – your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below. If you encounter a comment that is abusive, click the “X” in the upper right corner of the Facebook comment box to report spam or abuse. You can also email us.