As a result of a new law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday, California became the first state to prevent mega-retailers like Amazon from terminating warehouse workers for failing to meet sales goals that interfere with toilet and rest breaks. that grew out of Amazon’s desire to get goods to customers faster. The law was inspired by Amazon’s desire to get goods to customers faster.
The legislation also prohibits Amazon, the online retailing behemoth, and comparable firms from punishing employees for complying with health and safety regulations, and it grants employees the right to sue to have unsafe quotas suspended or retribution reversed. The bill applies to all warehouse distribution sites, despite the fact that its proponents were motivated by Amazon’s overwhelming market share.
Newsom, a Democrat, said in a press release after signing the legislation that “we cannot enable businesses to put profit before people.”
The legislation, known as Assembly Bill 701, was written by Democratic Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, a lawyer and former labour organizer. It was alleged by the plaintiff that Amazon disciplined warehouse workers at the direction of “an algorithm” that tracked employees’ activity and might conclude that anything not directly linked to moving goods was “off-task.”
Gonzalez Statement on California Amazon Retailers
“Amazon is pressuring workers to put their bodies at danger for next-day delivery, while they are unable to do something as simple as use the toilet without fear of retaliation,” Gonzalez said after her bill was passed by the Legislature.
When contacted for comment on her legislation or claims, Amazon did not reply immediately. Large warehouse employers are required to reveal quotas to their employees within 30 days of the law’s passage.
Workers who believe their quotas are causing them to behave in a hazardous manner can request 90 days’ worth of paperwork showing how their work pace meets or fails to achieve the quota. Any discipline administered during those 90 days is considered to be retribution, as is any discipline administered within 90 days of an employee filing a complaint with the firm or a state agency about a hazardous quota schedule.
Employees at Amazon, according to statistics from numerous labour advocacy groups, including the Warehouse Worker Resource Center and the Strategic Organizing Center, are considerably more likely than those working in other warehouses to suffer serious accidents, Gonzalez asserted.
According to her bill, if a workplace or business has an annual employee injury rate that is at least 1.5 times larger than the average annual injury rate for the warehousing sector, the firm or jobsite must be closed.
Amazon alone claims to employ more than 150,000 Californians, many of whom work in dozens of “fulfilment facilities,” according to the company. In their statement, industry organizations said that the law is “both costly and excessively broad,” and that employees are already safeguarded by existing occupational safety regulations.
Rachel Michelin Statement
According to Rachel Michelin, President of the California Retailers Association, the proposal “would worsen our present supply chain difficulties, increase the cost of living for all Californians, and remove well-paying jobs.”
According to the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, which co-sponsored the measure, warehouse employees in California are disproportionately Latino, with 54 percent being Latino and 9.5 percent being Black.
In addition, it asserted, such groups have less employment opportunities and were more likely to suffer during the coronavirus epidemic, which increased customers’ dependency on online purchasing while increasing the profitability of merchants.
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