California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said Monday that e-commerce behemoth Amazon Inc. is refusing to comply with the state’s outstanding subpoenas to investigate the company’s facilities across the state for improper coronavirus safety protocols.
Becerra’s office filed a petition in Sacramento County Superior Court in an effort to force Amazon to comply with the investigation.
The state Department of Justice issued multiple investigative subpoenas Aug. 19, after months of communication with the company about workplace health and safety.
“Amazon has made billions during this pandemic relying on the labor of essential workers,” Becerra said in a prepared statement. “Their workers get the job done while putting themselves at risk.”
The state Department of Justice is seeking concrete details about Amazon’s efforts to prevent the virus spreading in its facilities as well as the number of coronavirus cases and deaths linked to its California facilities.
According to the petition, Amazon has rebuked multiple requests from the California DOJ for information about its safety protocols.
A spokesperson for Amazon said the company has been cooperating with the state for months and that the company is “puzzled by the attorney general’s sudden rush to court.”
“The bottom line is that we’re a leader in providing Covid-19 safety measures for our employees—we’ve invested billions of dollars in equipment and technology, including building on-site testing for employees and providing personal protective equipment,” the Amazon spokesperson said in a statement. “We encourage anyone to compare our speed and actions in this area to any other major employer.”
The state’s investigation into the company’s workplace safety measures remains ongoing, Becerra said. “It’s critical to know if these workers are receiving the protections on the job that they are entitled to under the law,” he said. “Time is of the essence.”