Three employees are now suing Amazon for what they deem "sloppy contact tracing" protocols that don't follow guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control.
Leaving a trail
Contact tracing an important aspect of halting the spread of COVID-19. It's the process of identifying and alerting people who may have come in contact with an employee who has contracted the coronavirus.
When a warehouse employee is diagnosed, Amazon reportedly reviews surveillance footage of that employee and alerts anyone who may have been in contact with them. The employees suing Amazon say that practice is not only inadequate, but also at odds with CDC guidelines that call for an interview with the patient to get a more complete accounting of their interactions.
CNBC reports three workers at Amazon's JFK8 warehouse in New York filed a lawsuit in a U.S. district court charging the retailer with erecting a "facade of compliance," and conducting "sloppy contact tracing" that puts employees at risk.
Amazon refutes the allegations, saying the surveillance footage review is but one of a number of steps it takes in accordance with guidelines issued by various agencies, including employee interviews.
The employee lawsuit was filed with the assistance of activist organizations Towards Justice, Public Justice, and Make the Road New York. Amazon has been the target of various activist campaigns over various issues, including worker pay and employee safety. The lawsuit does not seek monetary damages, but rather compliance with public health standards, which the retailer says it already does.