Amazon is allegedly refusing to file worker’s compensation paperwork, unexpectedly cutting off paid leave, and forcing employees to sign non-disclosure agreements or statements saying they weren’t injured on the job in exchange for compensation, according to a new report from The Guardian.
The news article features the story of a 49-year-old woman who claims she injured her back last year while working at a defective workstation in an Amazon warehouse in Texas. Afterwards, she says she went to Amazon’s medical triage area where she was treated with a heating pad for her back.
She says the injury limited the range of motion in her right, dominant, arm, which slowed her work down. Day after day, she drove 60 miles to work only to have management send her home without pay repeatedly. Then she asked for worker’s compensation. She started physical therapy and, once recovered, returned to work January 2018, only to get injured again at the same workstation she claims was still broken.
Allen was later released by Amazon’s worker’s compensation insurer. Shortly thereafter, she became homeless, and now lives in her car in the parking lot of the Amazon warehouse where she used to work. Amazon reportedly offered the woman $3,500 if she signed a nondisclosure agreement, but she turned it down.
In April, a 43-year-old Florida man filed a lawsuit against Amazon claiming he hurt his back on the job. According to his complaint, his manager told him he was too young to have back problems and fired him before the company could authorize a doctor’s visit.
A third employee claims she was injured after falling from a ladder while working at Amazon Fulfillment Center in Pennsylvania. She says the company refused to give her worker’s compensation paperwork, and then cut her short-term disability after five weeks. She was later terminated from her job.
In April, Amazon was listed as one of the top 12 most dangerous places to work in the U.S. by the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health.