California just fined Amazon $1,870 for poor workplace safety during the coronavirus pandemic

  • California fined an Amazon warehouse and a delivery center $935 each for failing to adequately train employees on proper safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Amazon employees filed two complaints to the state's Division of Occupational Safety and Health in April and May of this year, respectively. They said the company endangered workers by failing to enforce physical distancing and communicate positive COVID-19 cases within the warehouse.
  • Net profit doubled from last year to a record $5.2 billion in July, due an increase in demand for delivery and cloud storage during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos added $35 billion to his net worth between January and June.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

California fined Amazon $1,870 for safety violations in a delivery station and a warehouse during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The state's Division of Occupational Safety and Health found two Amazon sites in Southern California did not provide effective employee safety training on how to lower exposure to COVID-19 at work, the LA Times reported.

The citations, both dated October 6, stated that Amazon "failed to provide effective safety and health training on COVID-19 and procedures to mitigate potential exposure." Each citation fined the company $935 each.

Amazon employees at the warehouse and delivery station filed a complaint to the state agency in April and May of this year, respectively. 

In the complaint, warehouse workers in Eastvale, California, told the state that Amazon did not notify workers of the first positive COVID-19 case, did not enforce physical distancing, and did not allow them to take handwashing breaks without being reprimanded. Delivery workers in Hawthorne added that the company did not lighten workloads to accommodate for additional time for handwashing and physical distancing.

Amazon warehouses and other sites had been demanding workplaces even before the COVID-19 crisis. The nonprofit Reveal found injuries in Amazon warehouses have increased every year since 2016, and are almost twice the industry standard.

The fines precede Amazon Prime Day, when warehouse workers in the US and Europe have called out challenging working conditions in the company's push for more purchases and speedy delivery.

Amazon warehouse workers in Germany went on strike Tuesday to demand better pay and working conditions. 

Despite the failed safety protocols within job sites, Amazon doubled quarterly revenue during the coronavirus pandemic. Net profit doubled from last year to a record $5.2 billion in July, due to increased demand for delivery and cloud storage. 

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos added $35 billion to his net worth between January and June. He is currently worth $200 billion, per Bloomberg. 

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