Amazon has been ordered by California Attorney General Rob Bonta to pay a fine of $500,000 to its employees working in its California workspaces. The fine was imposed because the Company had concealed the number of COVID-19 cases that had been recorded in the workplace from the employees.
The penalty was imposed following a complaint filed by the employees, saying that they were often left in the dark and were unable to effectively track the spread of the virus. The Company is being fined under California’s Covid ‘right to know’ (AB 685) legislation, which was passed a year ago, as reported by the LA Times.
This law requires employers to alert workers of any potential risk of a COVID-19 outbreak at the workplace. Employers are also mandated to report COVID-19 case numbers to local health agencies if they meet the definition of a COVID-19 outbreak.
Of course, Amazon has agreed to pay the fine and improve the way it tracks cases in its premises. Henceforth, it will have to notify its workers and local health agencies about the number of cases being registered, on a regular basis.
It will also have to inform its workers about the exact number of new COVID-19 cases in the workspace as and when they arise.
Bonta ruled that employees have a right to know of a potential exposure to the coronavirus and, thus, take necessary measures to protect themselves, their families and communities. Therefore, it is critical that businesses do their bit to protect their workers.