PHEW Whistleblower Complaint against Amazon
Former Amazon warehouse worker Linda Rodriguez filed a complaint against Amazon with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) alleging that the company fired her in 2020 because she repeatedly raised concerns about Amazon policies and practices that were putting warehouse workers at Amazon’s DEN3 facility in Thornton, Colorado at risk from the spread of COVID-19. In particular, Ms. Rodriguez alleges she was fired for complaining about Amazon’s sloppy contract tracing and the company’s failure to provide important workplace health and safety information to Spanish-speaking workers in Spanish.
“It seemed like Amazon just wanted to pressure people to keep coming to work during the pandemic, even though we were terrified, and so they didn’t tell us whether we’d been exposed and didn’t even explain to my Spanish-speaking co-workers in a language they could understand that they shouldn’t come to work if they were sick,” said Complainant Linda Rodriguez.
The complaint alleges that Amazon violated Colorado’s Public Health Emergency Whistleblower Act (“PHEW Act”), which was enacted during the summer of 2020 to recognize workers’ rights to speak out publicly about workplace safety and health concerns related to a public health emergency like COVID-19. The law requires workers to file a formal administrative complaint with the CDLE as a prerequisite to filing a suit in court. A copy of the complaint is available below. Ms. Rodriguez is represented in the case by Towards Justice, a Denver-based non-profit legal organization, and Swain Law LLC.
Colorado Public Radio: Amazon Didn’t Provide COVID-19 Information In Spanish, Ex-Thornton Employee Alleges