BI’s Article search uses Boolean search capabilities. If you are not familiar with these principles, here are some quick tips.
To search specifically for more than one word, put the search term in quotation marks. For example, “workers compensation”. This will limit your search to that combination of words.
To search for a combination of terms, use quotations and the & symbol. For example, “hurricane” & “loss”.
(Reuters) — Amazon.com Inc. on Wednesday pressed a New York judge to dismiss a lawsuit by state Attorney General Letitia James claiming the online retailer failed to ensure worker safety at two New York City warehouses as COVID-19 infections surged.
Ms. James sued Amazon in February over its safety protocols for thousands of workers at a Staten Island fulfillment center and a Queens distribution center, and for allegedly retaliating against two employees who protested against the conditions.
But at a hearing, a lawyer for Seattle-based Amazon said the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration had the expertise and authority to oversee workplace safety at private employers, preempting Ms. James’ state law claims.
“The court should defer to that agency, rather than wade into that quagmire,” the lawyer Jason Schwartz told Justice Nancy Bannon of the Manhattan Supreme Court.
Mr. Schwartz added that Amazon had cause to discipline the protesters, Christian Smalls and Derrick Palmer, saying they ignored social distancing rules, while Mr. Smalls violated a paid quarantine to lead a March 2020 protest.
Mr. Smalls was fired, and Mr. Palmer received a written warning.
In response, Karen Cacace, the labor bureau chief in Ms. James’ office, said Amazon "put profits as their primary goal," and needed a court-appointed safety monitor.
She also noted that COVID-19 cases are rising as the more contagious Delta variant spreads, including a “serious uptick” in Staten Island.
“This is not a problem that has disappeared,” Ms. Cacace said.
Mr. Schwartz countered that a monitor was no longer necessary after Governor Andrew Cuomo ended the state's COVID-19 emergency.
Justice Bannon admonished both sides she will not let the daily headlines govern her ruling.
“I don't hear anyone saying the whole pandemic is over,” she said. “The news is not great this week about that. Tune in next week and it might be something different.”
Amazon has separately asked a federal judge in Brooklyn for an injunction to stop Ms. James from suing.
In a July 9 filing there, Ms. James said Amazon had not shown irreparable harm.
The comptroller of New York City and Netherlands-based pension asset manager Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP have asked Amazon.com Inc.’s board of directors to release a public report on the company’s efforts to protect workers’ health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.