The US attorney’s office in Manhattan has opened a civil investigation into workplace safety at Amazon warehouses and possible “fraudulent” conduct to hide worker injuries from federal regulators, a spokesperson for the prosecutor’s office said.
Investigators with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Monday morning went to warehouses around New York City, Chicago and Orlando to conduct worker safety inspections on behalf of the US attorney’s office, according to the spokesperson.
“The civil division of the Southern District of New York is investigating potential worker safety hazards at Amazon warehouses across the country, as well as possible fraudulent conduct designed to hide injuries from OSHA and others,” said Nicholas Biase, a spokesperson for the US attorney’s office there. He said one area under investigation is Amazon’s required pace of work for warehouse employees.
Prosecutors asked members of the public and current and former Amazon employees to contact them about any safety issues, including failures to report injuries or reports of individuals who were injured but did not receive adequate care by the on-site first aid centers.
“We’ll of course cooperate with OSHA in their investigation, and we believe it will ultimately show that these concerns are unfounded,” said Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel.
Amazon has been under scrutiny by regulators in recent years. In 2021, New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit against Amazon for failing to protect workers during the pandemic. That case was dismissed in May of this year.
A House committee announced in April it is investigating how Amazon treats its workers, following the death of six employees in December when the distribution center they were working in was struck by a tornado. Amazon said at that time that it would respond to that House investigation in due course and remained focused on “supporting our employees and partners, the families who lost loved ones, the surrounding community, and all those affected by the tornadoes.”
— CNN Business’ Chris Isidore contributed to this report
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