New York attorney general calls for investigation into firing of Amazon worker who led protest

 

New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) is calling for an investigation into the firing of an Amazon worker who led a protest at a company warehouse in New York City amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Chris Smalls was fired Monday after he led employees protesting Amazon's decision to keep their Staten Island facility open after a worker tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

A spokesperson for Amazon told The Hill that Smalls was fired for coming onsite after being told to remain home because he had come into contact with another employee who tested positive.

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“It is disgraceful that Amazon would terminate an employee who bravely stood up to protect himself and his colleagues. At the height of a global pandemic, Chris Smalls and his colleagues publicly protested the lack of precautions that Amazon was taking to protect them from COVID-19," James said in a statement.

"In New York, the right to organize is codified into law, and any retaliatory action by management related thereto is strictly prohibited."

James added that her office is "considering all legal options" and calling on the National Labor Relations Board to investigate Smalls's dismissal.

Amazon declined to comment on James's statement.