Sep 2018

Workers Left To Suffer After Amazon Warehouse Injuries

Massachusetts workers' compensation attorneyAmazon recently made headlines when its valuation briefly surpassed $1 trillion. Owner Jeff Bezos has appeared in headlines as well, as he has risen to become the richest man in modern history. Amazon has made waves in the world of e-commerce, web hosting, and is implementing their AI, Alexa, into numerous household electronics.

Amazon is well known for the speed with which it’s able to deliver packages, especially considering the size of its operation. Bezos has seemingly achieved the American Dream by growing his online bookseller into the behemoth it is today. But Amazon has made the news for other, less flattering, reasons.

Poor Treatment of Workers

Amazon’s beloved quickness appears to have come at a cost to worker safety and responsible business practices. Journalists have uncovered instance after instance of the company leaving injured employees out to dry, with many becoming homeless, unable to work, and lacking any income.

Perhaps the most well-known complaint from Amazon employees is the micromanagement of every minute of their time, even for bathroom breaks. Even the office workers report elevated levels of oversight, but their plight is overshadowed by what many warehouse workers have experienced. Amazon warehouse employees work at breakneck speeds to meet their quotas; broken equipment is left unfixed for months; and the company aggressively disputes workers’ compensation claims.

Vickie Shannon Allen, 49, was hired by Amazon to be a counter in a fulfillment warehouse at Haslet, Texas, in May 2017. While she was excited at first, that feeling disappeared in a few short months. She injured her back counting goods on a workstation that was missing a brush guard, a piece of safety equipment meant to prevent products from falling onto the floor, after trying to compensate for the missing part.

The medical triage gave her a heating pad, but management repeatedly sent her home without pay due to the injury. She eventually received compensation but went on to re-injure her back on the same workstation, which still wasn’t fixed. Amazon eventually replaced the missing part and reportedly offered Allen a compensation package in return for signing a nondisclosure agreement. Allen refused. She currently lives out of her car in the parking lot of the fulfillment center.

Vickie Shannon Allen’s ordeal is not unique. Many other employees who have injured and re-injured themselves have experienced similar fates. If you’ve been injured on the job, at an Amazon warehouse or elsewhere, you shouldn’t have to navigate the complex workers’ compensation process on your own. A single error or missed deadline can seriously harm your chances of getting the benefits you need for your work injury.

That’s where a workers’ compensation attorney can make a meaningful difference. Contact our office today.

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