Workers Comp for Amazon Workers
On the Amazon website’s fulfillment center hiring page they state: “Amazon’s mission is ‘to be Earth’s most customer-centric company’ and our Operations and award-winning Customer Service teams are at the heart of that mission.” But conspicuously absent is any mention at all of being an “employee friendly company” or caring about it’s workers.
In fact, as several news stories have highlighted, the working conditions are 100% geared around faster customer fulfillment – often putting employees at higher risk of injury or illness from unsafe conditions and/or from overworking them.
In this article our experienced workers compensation attorneys discuss filing workers’ comp claims against Amazon for workplace injury and illnesses.
Amazon on the “Dirty Dozen List” for Work Injuries
Currently, due to COVID-19 there is an unprecedented surge in demand for online deliveries. This makes the risk of injury for Amazon employees even worse – as additional demands, more workers, and higher health risk conditions result in more accidents and illnesses. Amazon’s speedy service guarantee often requires employees to side-step certain safety precautions, and/or work beyond their physical limitations. This often puts the employees – especially in Amazon’s warehouses or fulfillment centers – at risk of serious injury.
In 2018 The National Council for Occupational Health and Safety placed Amazon on the top of their “Dirty Dozen” list of companies that put employees at risk due to unsafe practices. Tragically, three Amazon workers were killed on the job within a five-week period in 2017, at three different fulfillment centers. And seven Amazon workers have died on the job since 2013 per the Dirty Dozen list.
Can I Sue Amazon for Workers Comp?
The short answer is “yes”. Amazon workers who get hurt on the job (or who become ill, for example, due to COVID-19 exposure) are typically entitled to collect workers compensation. But the long answer is that Amazon is notorious for making it difficult for employees to receive workers comp benefits.
Why Is it Harder to Collect Workers Comp at Amazon?
Workers comp benefits are paid by a company’s insurer. A company like Amazon pays very large premiums to maintain their workers compensation coverage. However, if a company has too many workers comp claims, their insurance company can substantially raise their premiums – which can cut into profits in a big way.
So, certain companies (Amazon is alleged to be one) do not always write up the necessary accident reports needed for a worker to file a worker’s comp claim. There are also several unsubstantiated stories circulating of Amazon employees being retaliated against for seeking medical help – or simply not being allowed time off to see a doctor when they are hurt. And when a worker has no medical documentation, they have no proof upon which to base their workers compensation claim.
Workers Comp Injuries at Amazon Fulfillment Centers
Working in any warehouse is strenuous and subject to accidents and injuries, and Amazon fulfillment centers may be even more dangerous than others due to the demands for speed put on the employees.
At fulfillment centers, employees receive and process incoming stock and materials, pick and fill orders, pack and ship boxes, and/or organize, retrieve and replenish stock. This typically requires that workers bend down to pick up products and then lift or carry those products (often above their heads) to place them somewhere to be processed.
The worker’s speed is often measured, requiring them to hit certain unrealistic quotas, monitored by scanning software. Safety precautions – such as squatting and bending with the legs instead of twisting the back to lift heavy objects – may take longer, making it impossible for workers to meet their quotas. So, workers often risk injury rather than risk missing their quota and being fired.
Similarly, rushing and/or running, rather than carefully walking (especially when carrying items) can dramatically increase the likelihood of a slip and fall accident and injury. Additionally, overuse and/or repetitive tasks performed for long periods, can result in repetitive motion injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, and other muscle, nerve, ligament, and tendon damage.
Attorneys for Amazon Workers Comp Claims
Because it is often so difficult for Amazon employees to claim the workers comp benefits they deserve, it is strongly recommended that any injured Amazon worker should speak to an attorney for help.
The experienced workers comp attorneys at Cantrell Green have been obtaining benefits for injured workers for more than four decades. We know how to fight even the biggest companies like Amazon, to protect your rights so that you receive the workers comp benefits to which you are entitled.
Workers Comp Attorneys for Amazon Employees: 800-964-8047