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Oct 19, 2022
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Amazon, NY attorney general call off COVID-19 litigation

By
Reuters
Published
Oct 19, 2022

Amazon.com Inc and New York state's attorney general on Wednesday agreed to halt litigation against one another stemming from whether the online retailer adequately protected workers in the largest U.S. city during the initial COVID-19 outbreak.




In a filing, Attorney General Letitia James agreed not to seek review of a May state court decision that had found federal law preempted her claims that Amazon violated state labor statutes. She had alleged in Feb. 2021 that Amazon had retaliated against two New York City workers protesting warehouse safety conditions.

As part of the agreement, Amazon withdrew its own lawsuit against New York state, which had alleged James overstepped her bounds in pandemic dealings with the retailer.

The attorney general's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In a statement, Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel said, "We took extraordinary measures to keep our employees as safe as possible. The court’s prior dismissal of the New York Attorney General’s lawsuit, and today’s agreement to end the litigation altogether, is the right outcome given our actions in response to the pandemic."

Amazon faces other legal battles arising from its COVID-19 response. On Tuesday, a U.S. appeals court ruled that Amazon had to face a claim in a separate court case that it had failed to protect warehouse workers and their families in New York City during the pandemic.

Labor organizing has picked up at Amazon facilities as well, including the first-ever vote in favor of unionizing one of the company's warehouses in the United States, which took place in the New York City borough of Staten Island.

The fledgling group, known as the Amazon Labor Union, however lost a separate organizing vote near the state capital of Albany on Tuesday.

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