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California Subpoenas Amazon Due To Concerns Over Its Coronavirus Protocols

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) -- California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced Monday that the state is taking legal action against Amazon.

The state alleges Amazon has failed to adequately respond to requests for information in their months-long investigation into the company's coronavirus protocols and the status of COVID-19 cases at Amazon facilities.

"While Amazon continues to operate profitably, it has been less than forthcoming about its operations and its practices to protect its workers," said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. "We filed this petition today because we urgently need to know about complaints made by Amazon associates to the company about working conditions, potential retaliation taken against employees who raise these workplace safety concerns."
State officials say they're hoping a judge will order the company to comply with the subpoenas, which the attorney general's office issued in August.
Investigators want details about the nature and extent of Amazon's coronavirus prevention efforts and they want to take a look at the company's sick leave policies and cleaning procedures.
They're also asking for data on the number of infections and coronavirus-related deaths at facilities in California.
"If Amazon can next-day deliver an 85-inch TV, it should be able to deliver to the Department of Justice the straightforward information we officially requested of them nearly four months ago," Becerra said.

In court papers, Becerra says Amazon's slowness in disclosing the information is an insufficient response.

He says without the details they're requested, investigators are unable to determine if the company is complying with worker health and safety laws.
In response to the state's allegations, Amazon sent CBS2/KCAL9 the following statement:
"We're puzzled by the Attorney General's sudden rush to court because we've been working cooperatively for months and their claims of noncompliance with their demands don't line up with the facts. The bottom line is that we're a leader in providing COVID-19 safety measures for our employees – we've invested billions of dollars in equipment and technology, including building on-site testing for employees and providing personal protective equipment. We encourage anyone to compare our speed and actions in this area to any other major employer."
The Attorney General's office says a court date for the hearing has not been set yet.
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