AP

Judge orders Amazon to stop retaliations against organizers

Nov 21, 2022, 12:51 PM | Updated: 1:23 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — A federal judge has ordered Amazon to stop retaliating against employees engaged in workplace activism, issuing a mixed ruling that also hands a loss to the federal labor agency that sued the company earlier this year.

The ruling came in a court case brought by the National Labor Relations Board, which sued Amazon in March seeking the reinstatement of a fired employee who was involved in organizing a company warehouse on Staten Island, New York.

In its lawsuit, the agency argued Amazon’s termination of the former employee, Gerald Bryson, was unlawful and would have a chilling effect on organizing. It said that not reinstating Bryson to his role would make workers think the agency would not be able to protect their labor rights under federal law.

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Diane Gujarati ruled there was “reasonable cause” to believe the e-commerce giant committed an unfair labor practice by firing Bryson. She issued a cease-and-desist order directing the Seattle-based company to not retaliate against employees involved in workplace activism.

But Gujarati denied the agency’s request to reinstate Bryson. She determined that the NLRB did not present evidence that Bryson’s termination is having considerable effect on organizing efforts by employees or the Amazon Labor Union, the nascent group in connection to Bryson that ultimately pulled off the first-ever labor win at an Amazon warehouse in the U.S. in March.

In her ruling, Gujarati also noted Bryson was fired before the union was formed, which makes it different from other cases where a slowdown of organizing support was shown after the firing of a union activist.

Bryson was fired in April 2020, weeks after participating in a protest over working conditions during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. While off the job during a second protest, he got into a dispute with another employee. Amazon did its own investigation into the dispute and cited a violation of the company’s vulgar-language policy for terminating Bryson. The company denies the firing was connected to organizing activities.

Shortly after Bryson was fired, he filed a complaint with the NLRB. An administrative law judge concluded earlier this year the company pursued a “skewed investigation” into the dispute designed to blame Bryson. Amazon has said it would appeal that ruling in the NLRB’s own administrative process. Friday’s court ruling came from a separate federal case filed by the agency, which doesn’t have enforcement powers.

On Friday, Gujarati ordered Amazon to post English and Spanish copies of the court order at the Staten Island facility that voted to unionize. She also ordered the company distribute electronic copies to employees and hold a mandatory meeting where the order can be read aloud.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump arrives during the second day of th...

Associated Press

Donald Trump celebrated by former rivals at Republican National Convention

Former president Donald Trump was celebrated at the Republican National Convention by former rivals, including Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis.

6 hours ago

FILE - Members of the Henderson Fire Department load Deb Billet, 66, into an ambulance before trans...

Associated Press

Things to know about heat deaths as a dangerously hot summer shapes up in the western US

A dangerously hot summer is shaping up in the U.S. West, with heat suspected in dozens of recent deaths.

4 days ago

FILE - Dr. Ruth Westheimer participates in the "Ask Dr. Ruth" panel during the Hulu presentation at...

Associated Press

Dr. Ruth Westheimer, the sex therapist who became a pop icon, has died

Dr. Ruth Westheimer, the sex therapist who became a pop icon, media star and best-selling author, has died.

4 days ago

Biden proposes rule to protect 36 million workers from extreme heat...

Associated Press

Biden proposes new rule to protect 36 million workers from extreme heat

President Joe Biden on Tuesday proposed a new rule to address excessive heat in the workplace, warning — as tens of millions of people in the U.S. are under heat advisories — that high temperatures are the country's leading weather-related killer.

14 days ago

FILE - Rori Chang, of Glendale, Ariz., walks with her dog Ava as they leave the Maricopa Country An...

Associated Press

Here are ways that can help ease dogs’ July Fourth dread

Those with furry, four-legged family members will be searching for solutions to the Fourth of July anxiety that fireworks bring.

15 days ago

FILE - Rori Chang, of Glendale, Ariz., walks with her dog Ava as they leave the Maricopa Country An...

Sponsored Content by

Those with furry, four-legged family members will be searching for solutions to the Fourth of July anxiety that fireworks bring.

Sponsored Articles

...

Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

Judge orders Amazon to stop retaliations against organizers