The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has filed a lawsuit against Amazon, aiming to reinstate an employee who was allegedly fired after leading a series of protests over safety.

In the early days of the pandemic, Gerald Bryson, who worked at the e-commerce giant’s JFK8 facility on Staten Island, was fired after he helped lead protests over safety concerns about the company’s COVID-19 protocols.

Bryson filed an unfair labor practice suit in 2020, but the case has been stalled in the agency’s administrative court process.

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The NLRB is now asking a federal judge to order immediate changes before the facility holds a union election by the end of March, taking into account Bryson’s involvement in organizing the strike.

Back in 2020, Amazon denied that Bryson’s firing was retaliatory, claiming that he was fired for violating the company’s policy against vulgar and harassing language.

The company says Bryson bullied and intimidated a female associate “in a racially and sexually charged way” in a confrontation during the protest.

However, the NLRB in a recent filing (PDF), claims while Bryson used foul language during the confrontation, the female employee also used foul language and a racial slur against him.

Bryson, a black man who assisted the protest, was fired, while the white female employee who told him to stop protesting and go home, got the first warning.

The NLRB has accused Amazon of putting on its policies against him in retaliation for the role he played in the protest.

In addition to requesting Bryson’s reinstatement, the NLRB requests that Amazon post notices of workers’ rights at the facility and read those rights aloud at mandatory employee meetings.

Source: Engadget

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