Millions of Americans have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus, so 800 new employment opportunities are a welcome relief to those who have found themselves unemployed.
Amazon, a billion-dollar corporate giant, already has several distribution and fulfillment centers throughout the state of Georgia, employing roughly 3,500 workers. In late April, Amazon announced that it will be opening another facility in the Peach State, bringing with it an extra 800 jobs. The new fulfillment center is expected to open up soon in Columbia County to ship small household goods, books and toys.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp says he is excited about the project with hopes to continue working with Amazon in the future. It’s safe to say many Georgia residents are looking forward to having job security again, but at what cost?
Amazon’s questionable record with worker safety?
The standards Amazon holds its employees to tend to be unreasonably high. Drivers are encouraged to stay on the road as much as possible, all workers have timed bathroom breaks, warehouse workers are expected to lift heavy products quickly instead of safely, and what little training and safety there is gets pushed aside in the name of speed and efficiency.
The wages may be attractive, but the back-breaking work wasn’t worth it to the thousands of former Amazon employees who suffered from injuries that Amazon refuses to compensate for.
Working conditions in many warehouses and facilities are so bad that Amazon made it on the Dirty Dozen list published by the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH) in 2018 and 2019, with a dishonorable mention in 2020.
Will more jobs mean more injuries?
Thanksgiving and Christmas are normally the busiest times of the year for Amazon, with each driver delivering an average of 250 packages a day across the U.S. With the coronavirus continuing to cause a pandemic, the demand for delivery has risen exponentially during the off-season.
There are approximately 25,000 warehouses and distribution centers that are owned and operated by Amazon scattered across North America. They employ hundreds of thousands of Americans.
Sadly, many workers suffer daily in the grueling conditions found inside warehouses, dubbed “injury mills” by former employees.
Not all accusations against Amazon are justified, but perhaps there wouldn’t be any at all if the company took more proactive steps to improve the safety and comfort of its workers. Unfortunately, there are many loopholes and safety nets in place to minimize the company’s liability and cover only the bare minimum in workers’ compensation.
If you or someone you know is facing the difficulties of applying for workers’ compensation due to a workplace injury, you’re not alone. At Gerber & Holder, our Athens work injury lawyers can help you file a claim to get the compensation you deserve.
Contact us today to schedule your free initial appointment with one of our experienced professional attorneys.