Published on: March 20, 2023
• From the Los Angeles Times:
"An Amazon worker at a Bakersfield warehouse alleges the company fired him last month for seeking time off to grieve his parents’ deaths, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Kern County Superior Court.
"Scott Brock, who worked at Amazon’s BFL1 fulfillment center, lost both his parents, Mary Massengale Brock and Curtis Harold Brock, in late January, only six days apart, according to the complaint.
"When Brock requested three additional days of bereavement leave after his father died, Amazon’s human resources department asked to see an obituary. Brock submitted the obituary for both his parents, but on Feb. 2, Amazon denied his request for time off and subsequently terminated his employment, the complaint alleges.
"Brock is suing the company for wrongful termination and violating state laws protecting employee leave related to the care of family members and medical conditions."
An Amazon spokesperson said only that, “While we’re very sorry for the loss of Mr. Brock’s parents, that’s unrelated to why he’s no longer working at Amazon."
The Times writes that "the company has long been under scrutiny over allegations of harsh, algorithm-led work quotas, high injury rates and retaliatory firings — which California lawmakers aimed to crack down on in 2021 legislation, AB 701.
"The pandemic exposed how the company’s metric-reliant employee apps resulted in erratic notifications, incorrectly revoked or delayed benefits, and haphazard terminations.
"Amazon and Whole Foods warehouse workers received COVID exposure notifications, The Times found in 2020, through a patchy automated text and robocall system that issued notifications out of order or seemingly at random, alerting some workers but not others."