Amazon is the world’s largest and most profitable retailer. Yet the working conditions of the e-commerce giant’s approximately 565,000 employees (including 22,000 in New Jersey) have come under fire in recent years.
A recent story published in The Guardian revealed many cases of Amazon workplace accidents that have left injured employees unable to work. These same employees were denied workers’ compensation benefits, leaving them financially strained and in some cases homeless.
Amazon and the “Dirty Dozen”
Amazon currently has 140 fulfillment centers nationally. Eight of those have been in New Jersey since 2012, with a total of 16,000 Amazon workers at sites in Avenel, Carteret, Cranbury, Edison, Florence, Logan, and Robbinsville.
Conditions at Amazon's workplaces are reportedly so bad for workers that the National Council for Occupational Safety (NCOS) earlier this year listed the company as one of its “dirty dozen” most dangerous U.S. workplaces. NCOS revealed the Seattle-based company has had seven worker deaths in the last five years – including three within five weeks at three separate locations last year.
The worker safety agency cites the root cause of safety issues at Amazon to be the relentless pressure workers and managers are under to fill customer orders, increasingly the same day they are ordered. Many of those hired are only there as “temporary workers." The Guardian reports that many workers have grueling shifts, often overnight; are poorly trained and supervised, despite being tasked with dangerous duties; and are sometimes under immense pressure because they are given on-demand assignments for which they are paid by the piece.
Our New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyers in Cherry Hill know these are the kind of workplace accidents that should just never happen. Even more troubling is The Guardian’s report that workers are being fired or laid off in retaliation for reporting workplace injuries.
You should know that regardless of your immigration status or whether you were a part-time or temporary worker, you are entitled to workers’ compensation for injuries and illnesses that occur in the course and scope of employment – regardless of fault.
If you’re concerned about your rights or ability to collect workers’ compensation following an injury at a New Jersey Amazon warehouse, we can help. Contact us today for a free consultation.