A lawsuit has been filed against Amazon over alleged discrimination of pregnant and disabled staff.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul has confirmed the state’s Division of Human Rights has filed a lawsuit against Jeff Bezos’s company, accusing it of forcing pregnant and disabled employees to take unpaid periods of absence

The state claims Amazon failed to accommodate workers in its facilities in a reasonable manner in multiple instances.

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The lawsuit states in one case, a pregnant worker was given permission to avoid carrying packages weighing more than 25 pounds, but the management refused to comply, thus the worker continued to move heavy products.

Amazon is accused of denying additional accommodations after the worker was injured, and they were subsequently put on “indefinite unpaid leave”.

Amazon is said to have failed to provide reasonable accommodations in part because it allows managers to override recommendations made by “Accommodation Consultants,” whose job it is to evaluate and recommend accommodations.

Lawyers say Amazon’s actions violate the state’s Human Rights Law, which outlaws discrimination in the workplace against pregnant and disabled workers, among other things.

They’re calling on Amazon to “pay civil fines and penalties to the State of New York,” as well as cease its discriminatory conduct, and adopt non-discriminatory policies and practices concerning requests for accommodations, among other remedies.

Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel said that the company works to offer “the best available options to accommodate” employees with disabilities and expectant mothers and offers several programs “to ensure that’s the case.”

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Nantel said: “We’re surprised by the governor’s announcement this morning because we’ve been cooperating and working closely with her investigator on this matter and had no indication a complaint was coming,”

Source: CNBC

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