The Guardian reports that Amazon appears to be harming its injured employees who suffer accidents on the job and cannot keep up with the frenetic pace of the company. The story shows a pattern of Amazon’s refusal to file workers’ compensation paperwork and the unexpected cutting off of paid leave. Worst of all, the company appears to be pressuring employees to sign non-disclosure agreements or other statements attesting that they were not injured on the job in exchange for compensation.
For example, Vickie Shannon Allen injured her back at a broken workstation in Texas last year. She was given a heating pad and sent home every day without pay. She pushed for workers’ compensation benefits, started physical therapy, and returned to work, only to find that her workstation had not been fixed. Then Amazon’s workers’ compensation insurer dropped Ms. Allen from her plan. She is now homeless and living in her car in a parking lot.
Additionally, a worker at a Pennsylvania Fulfillment Center was fired five weeks into her job after she fell off a ladder. Her back is permanently injured. Amazon refused to provide her with the paperwork she needed to file a workers’ compensation claim. And they cut her short term disability after five weeks when she was supposed to receive it for 26.
Other stories abound. A spokesperson for Amazon told the publication that the company is proud of its record on worker safety: “While any serious incident is one too many, we learn and improve our programs working to prevent future incidents.”
In contrast to these assertions, the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health listed Amazon as one of the top twelve most dangerous places to work in the United States just this past April.