Amazon has filed a lawsuit against New York Attorney General Letitia James alleging that she overstepped her bounds, while requesting an injunction to prevent her from suing the company over the allegations of violations of workplace conditions at the company's Staten Island warehouse. The company argues that James threatened to sue Amazon if it does not surrender a portion of its profits and slow down operations.
The NY AG's demands are related to allegations of employee safety violations by Amazon at the workplace during the coronavirus pandemic purportedly committed as a means of fulfilling a drastically-increased demand.
The tech giant stressed in the new lawsuit that it passed an unannounced 30 March inspection by city authorities, initiated after Staten Island warehouse employees protested their workplace conditions. The workers' allegations, following the 30 March inspection, were found to be "completely baseless", according to Amazon. The tech giant further suggested in their lawsuit that federal workplace safety laws take precedence over local New York legislation.
Amazon slammed James for "ignoring" evidence in another case of complaints against the tech giant – the firing of an organizer behind a March 2020 employee protest - Christian Smalls. The company insisted that Smalls was sacked for safety-related reasons, accusing him of ignoring social-distancing rules and violating the conditions of "paid quarantine".
The New York AG responded to the news of Amazon's lawsuit by saying that she is studying the state's legal options, Reuters reported. She accused the tech giant of trying to distract the public from the facts while evading accountability for failing to protect its workers from COVID-19.
"Let me be clear: We will not be intimidated by anyone, especially corporate bullies that put profits over the health and safety of working people", the New York AG said.