Revealed: Amazon told workers paid sick leave law doesn’t cover warehouses
California workers say the company is pressuring sick employees to show up – and flouting a California law meant to protect them from Covid-19
On 16 April, the California governor, Gavin Newsom, passed an executive order providing food sector workers two weeks of supplemental paid sick leave if they have to isolate due to Covid-19 concerns. The law covers “workers at warehouses where food is stored” and is aimed at protecting consumers from the virus and offering additional support to essential workers whose jobs involve the food supply.
Amazon warehouses in the industrial neighborhoods of San Bernardino and Riverside counties handle a wide range of packages, including food items. But employees say that when they have asked about Newsom’s order in recent weeks, the human resources department has ignored their questions or responded that the facilities are not considered part of the food sector.
That’s a little less appalling than the headline, isn’t it. And could someone call Sorites to decide here? Is an Amazon warehouse that is 98% not food but which has a case of Marmite in the corner actually part of the food sector?