On Friday, Amazon was successful in its appeal to have a class action lawsuit against the company for alleged age discrimination in its warehouse productivity targets dismissed.
US magistrate judge Kandis Westmore in Oakland said that the 2021 complaint alleging that the online retailer’s hourly requirements put older workers at a greater risk of injury was too vague and failed to cite specific discriminatory rules.
Amazon Accused Of Age Discrimination
The fact that physical strength decreases with age does not inevitably make older workers more prone to injury or failure to meet targets, Westmore stated.
Amazon spokesperson Barbara Agrait stated that the idea that the business imposed quotas on employees was false and that employees are permitted to take unscheduled restrooms and stretching breaks during their shifts.
Depending on their job tasks, Amazon warehouse employees are required to transfer 150 to 300 products each hour through their workstations, according to the lawsuit. Employees can be penalized or terminated for missing quotas or spending an excessive amount of time off-task.
The lawsuit asserted that the quotas constitute age discrimination in violation of California law since workers aged 49 and older are more prone to accidents, especially those caused by excessively repetitive actions.
In accepting Amazon’s move to dismiss the action, Judge Westmore stated that it would be incorrect to conclude that older workers are more likely to be hurt due to their age alone.
Employees, policymakers, and union organizers have criticized Amazon for prioritizing profits over worker safety by pushing production goals.
The US workplace safety commission issued citations to Amazon this week for exposing workers in three warehouses to ergonomic dangers that led to significant injuries.
Amazon, which faces fines of up to $60,000, has stated that it yearly invests hundreds of millions of dollars to protect worker safety.
Read more: Artificial intelligence analysis of pain drawings could forecast how patients would react to a headache operation
Company’s Charitable Initiative Has Been Canceled
Amazon is discontinuing its program that made charitable contributions on behalf of customers whenever they made a purchase.
The e-commerce giant announced that AmazonSmile will be discontinued on February 20. As part of the initiative, Amazon contributed 0.5% of a customer’s purchase to a charity of their choosing at no additional cost.
Since the start of AmazonSmile in 2013, the corporation has provided approximately $500 million (£415 million) to charitable organizations. Amazon reported that the average donation amount was less than $230 (£191)
Amazon has decided to discontinue the charitable service as part of a cost-cutting initiative that would result in the layoff of 18,000 employees. It is also closing three warehouses in the United Kingdom, which will affect 1,200 employees.
Customers and charity workers have criticized the decision’s timing, which coincides with the cost-of-living problem, despite Amazon’s pledge to redirect its charitable efforts elsewhere.
Read more: FTX: Sam Bankman-Fried family members refuse to cooperate with the ongoing investigation