Federal prosecutors in New York and the Department of Labor are inspecting Amazon warehouses across the country as part of a civil investigation into unsafe and poor working conditions. The inspections began Monday morning, according to the United States District Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York. “This morning, the United States Department of Labor’s Office of Occupational Safety and Health entered Amazon warehouses outside of New York City, Chicago and Orlando to conduct workplace safety inspections in response to referrals received from the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District. New York regarding potential workplace hazards related to, among other things, Amazon’s required work actions for warehouse employees,” agency spokesman Nicholas Biase said in a statement provided to ABC News. “The SDNY’s Civil Division is investigating potential safety risks to workers at Amazon warehouses across the country, as well as possible fraudulent conduct to cover up injuries from OSHA and others,” Biase added.
A spokesperson for the United States Department of Labor told ABC News: “OSHA has received referrals from the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York regarding allegations of health and safety violations at various Amazon facilities. We regularly receive referrals from various federal agencies, law enforcement agencies, advocacy groups and others.”
“In response to the recommendations, OSHA has initiated inspections at Amazon sites in New York, Illinois and Florida. Because this is an active investigation, we are unable to provide additional information at this time,” the spokeswoman added. Workers at Amazon’s warehouses, which the company calls fulfillment centers, have complained about intense pace, uncomfortable heat and the potential for injury. Amazon responded to the investigation, with a spokesperson telling ABC News in a statement, “We will, of course, cooperate with OSHA in its investigation, and we believe it will ultimately show that these concerns were not found.”