Former Amazon employees are speaking out about the company’s alleged unfair Workers’ Compensation practices. Though some of the more recent ones are not widely publicized, they are worrisome, and worth reading about.
A Former Employee’s Story
A former picker at an Amazon South Carolina warehouse shared her experience with Amazon Workers Voice, an online newsletter. She said that while working there, she was under pressure to “make rate,” or unpack and repack high numbers of products each hour.
She also claimed that the workers were always under pressure to make these hourly rates, even if it was under unsafe conditions. According to her, Amazon would fire employees after they failed to make rate three times.
This former employee also claimed that she frequently walked 15 miles per day to complete her work duties. When trying to make her rate on one occasion, she stopped her cart to avert a collision, and hurt her back and fractured her foot.
The next day, Amazon sent her to a doctor, and she was put on crutches. The company then obliged her to return to work, where she spent five hours in a standing position.
Amazon offered her a settlement of $4,000, but to get the money she had to sign a statement. It specified that she could never work at Amazon again, could not get unemployment, and could not sue them.
She did receive workers compensation payments for a limited time, but could not find employment after they ended.
A Second Story
Another Amazon employee from Texas also reported a bad experience after being injured on the job. She was first diagnosed with a serious injury by a doctor, but this was overruled by a second doctor, who said he could not decipher her old medical records. He stated that her medical issues were only due to aging.
Companies Paying Employees Less Benefits
An Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) study from 2015 reported that US companies were only covering around 20 percent of workplace injury costs for employees. Injured workers were also paying an average of 50 percent of out-of-pocket costs.
To make matters worse, some companies had roadblocks set up to affect worker benefits. One example was a requirement to report injuries within 24 hours after they occurred.
Every state has certain workers’ compensation regulations, and employees cannot sue their employers once they accept benefits. These can include reimbursement for medical costs and lost wages. Over time, many feel that the amount of compensation has been reduced, due to pressures from insurance companies, lobbyists, and employers.
There are numerous cases where workers have been forced to return to work before they are healed; doctors do not diagnose and treat properly; and compensation is lower than warranted.
Cherry Hill Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks LLP Fight for Victims of Biased Workers’ Compensation Plans
Fighting a workers’ compensation claim can be challenging, but the Cherry Hill workers’ compensation lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks LLP have the skills and experience to give you the best representation possible. Get a free consultation by filling out an online form, or by calling us at 856-761-3773. We are located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and represent clients in the City of Camden and across South Jersey.