As our society gets accustomed to ‘same day’ and ‘next day’ delivery from retailers, such as Amazon, we need to protect the rights and wellbeing of the workers who make this possible.

These companies perpetuate dangerous working conditions through quotas and algorithms that put profit over people.

With the threat of losing their jobs, many workers feel forced to skirt safety precautions to meet their quotas resulting in a higher risk of on-the-job injuries and illnesses. During the pandemic, many workers were forced to work in unsafe conditions without proper PPE and social distancing practices and often went to work sick with COVID for fear of losing their jobs. 

Today I am introducing the Warehouse Workers Protection Act that will address many of these issues and work to keep workers safe from inhumane working conditions. 

The act will:

  • Give workers access to the quotas and algorithms that are regulating their work

  • Prevent the algorithm from placing workloads on employees that could injure the worker. Every workplace will have an ergonomic assessment of all tasks (e.g. how many boxes are safe to lift, at what size and weight, and at what speed)

  • Create penalties and enforcement mechanisms at DOL against backbreaking work.

  • Provide workers a private right of action. The private right of action follows the precedent that was created in the NY HEROs Act
  • Builds upon the NY HERO’s Act workplace safety committees to ensure workers have a voice, and the ability to remedy unsafe working conditions.

The Warehouse Workers Protection Act will hold companies accountable and provide more power to working-class communities to stand up to predatory employment practices without the fear of retaliation. 

Passing this legislation concurrent with the rise in warehouse unionization will transform this rapidly changing industry and create safer and more worker-centered labor conditions across our state.

Thank you for your continued support of this vital work. It is truly an honor to serve as Labor Committee Chair and your Senator during this historic moment for labor relations and workers’ rights.

In Solidarity,

Jessica Ramos

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