California Seeks Order Compelling Compliance With COVID-19 Protocol Subpoenas

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has asked a state court to force investigative subject, Inc. to comply with formal requests for information regarding COVID-19 protocols and the status of cases at Amazon facilities. The e-commerce giant has allegedly been limited in its responsiveness, prompting California to enlist the judiciary’s help, Becerra’s office announced Monday.

The petition comes after months of “informal communication” with Amazon regarding its workplace health and safety measures. On Aug. 19, the California Department of Justice issued subpoenas seeking details about “the nature and extent of Amazon’s coronavirus prevention efforts, including with regard to sick leave policies and cleaning procedures, as well as raw data on the number of infections and deaths at their facilities in the state.” The need for information has grown with the publication of troubling reports concerning warehouse conditions, the filing reported.

Yet, Amazon has repeatedly thwarted the state’s investigatory efforts through its delayed and deficient responses, the petition claims. In addition, Becerra’s press release notes that Amazon has reportedly posted record sales during the pandemic, yet it has not found the time or means to comply with the state’s probes.

Becerra stated, “Amazon has made billions during this pandemic relying on the labor of essential workers. Their workers get the job done while putting themselves at risk.” He further explained that “[i]t’s critical to know if these workers are receiving the protections on the job that they are entitled to under the law. Time is of the essence. Amazon has delayed responding adequately to our investigative requests long enough. We’re seeking a court order to compel Amazon to comply fully with our investigative subpoenas.”