Injured US Amazon workers face “workers compensation” regime rigged in favor of employers
John Marion and Evan Cohen
10 October 2018
Barbara, a former Amazon worker in South Carolina, recently recounted a story to the International Amazon Workers Voice that has become all too common.
As a picker at Amazon, she often walked 15 miles a day in a warehouse where workers were pressured to make rate at the expense of safety. Amazon’s policy was to fire workers after three write-ups for not making rate. One day while racing to make rate, Barbara had to try to stop her cart abruptly to avoid a collision with another worker. As a result, she injured her foot and back.
Amcare, the company nursing station, was closed for the night shift. The following day the company sent Barbara to a doctor who gave her Tylenol and crutches. After being told she had no other choice, Barbara returned to work despite her injury, where she was assigned to packing and office work. Her supervisor told her to keep working despite the pain, and at one point she had to stand for five hours on her fractured foot.
Eventually she received a $4,000 settlement that required her to sign a statement stipulating that she could not work at Amazon, could not sue for additional damages, and could not draw unemployment.
After her workers compensation payments ended, Barbara was unable to find work elsewhere. She lost her home and car.
“It was devastating to lose my car and my home,” she told the IAWV . “My dad built my home. All because of this little accident.”
The carnage at America’s workplaces, and the scandalous mistreatment of workers after their injuries, goes completely unreported in the establishment media.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 4,500 American…