New York State Senator Jessica Ramos and Assembly Member Latoya Joyner have introduced a new bill meant to limit production quotas for warehouse workers. The bill, called the Warehouse Worker Protection Act, takes aim at Amazon's labor practices. It expands upon and strengthens the language of a similar bill in California that was signed into law back in 2021, making the state the first in the US to have legislation that regulates warehouse quotas.
Productivity quotas prevent workers from complying with safety standards and contribute to rising injury rates in warehouse, Ramos notes in a statement. She explains that if the bill passes, it can “ease the bargaining process” for workers seeking to make demands for health purposes in their workplace. Warehouses will have to go through an ergonomic assessment of all tasks if the bill becomes a law, and companies could face penalties if they're found to be lacking. The New York State Department of Labor will enforce rules established under the bill.
As Motherboard reports, the Warehouse Worker Protection Act will require employers with at least 50 employees in a single warehouse or 500 workers statewide to describe their productivity quotas in a written description. They also have to explain how their quotas are developed and how they can be used for disciplinary purposes. If the bill passes, it can make sure employees are giving their workers bathroom breaks and rest periods, as well.
Amazon made it to the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health's most dangerous workplaces in the US for the third time this year. The advocacy group included Amazon for having an injury rate more than double the industry average and highlighted the deaths that took place in its facility in Bessemer, Alabama. Workers' rights advocates also recently accused the e-commerce giant of using its charity work placement scheme to conceal true injury rates in its warehouses.
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