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[ Text Book Retaliation Case ] COVID Enforcement - BAILEY v. AMAZON.COM, INC. et al

Substance News will be reporting on cases that help individuals understand their rights, when those rights are being violated and how cases are processed.

Case Title

BAILEY v. AMAZON.COM, INC. et al

Case Number

1:20-cv-14306

Court

New Jersey

Nature of Suit

Civil Rights: Jobs

Judge

Robert B. Kugler

Date Filed

October 12, 2020

Issue

Retaliation

Synopsis

Amazon was sued in New Jersey federal court by a whistleblower who was a former employee alleging he was fired in retaliation for reporting that a shift manager at a Garden State facility violated safety protocols durimng the COVID Pandemic.

David J. Bailey, who was tasked with enforcing such measures as an Amazon.com Inc. learning ambassador, said he was fired in August soon after complaining that Kristopher Lauderdale refused to keep at least a 6-foot distance from other workers, according to the complaint Bailey who is asserting a violation of New Jersey's Conscientious Employee Protection Act.

Bailey, who was tasked with enforcing such safety measures as an Amazon.com Inc. learning ambassador, said he was fired in August after complaining that Kristopher Lauderdale refused to keep at least a 6-foot distance from other workers, according to the complaint filed in October asserting a violation of New Jersey's Conscientious Employee Protection Act.

Bailey said in his suit that he realized the company operated its business "unlawfully on a sustained and continued basis with regard to enforcing safety laws/regulations surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic."

The case 20-cv-14306 was settled out of court on 3/9/21.

Fact Pattern

.... the reporting employee would be written up and/or suspended by the management team for bogus reasons for complaining about violations of state COVID-19 mitigation laws and the employer’s own safety protocols on several occasions to no avail .... the employee was dismayed by managements’ failure to properly enforce emergency mandates and HR’s clear condonement of disciplining, suspending or terminating any employee who attempted to report aforesaid violations/illegal conduct.

For example, in or about early August of 2020, the employee was working his regular shift and observed that two mangers were standing and talking within just 2-3 feet of either. When the employee advised the managers that they were not following mandated social distancing guidelines, one manger ignored the employee and visibly rolled his eyes.

The employee then filed a report with Human Resources (“HR”) Department complaining of managers refusal to maintain at least a six-foot distance from other employees, which constituted a violation of New Jersey State COVID-19 mitigation laws/regulations, as well as the companies own safety protocols.

Instead of properly investigating and/or addressing employee’s complaints of the company managers violations of state and/or federal regulations/laws, the employee was placed on suspension for purportedly “threatening” the manager, and then abruptly terminated just a few days later on or about August 15, 2020.

Resolution

David J. Bailey and Amazon filed a one-page stipulation of dismissal with prejudice on Tuesday, telling U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler they have resolved the matter.

The case is David J. Bailey v. Amazon.com Inc. et al., case number 1:20-cv-14306, in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Complaint filed in October asserting a violation of New Jersey's Conscientious Employee Protection Act.

Case 1:20-cv-14306 Document 1

Filed 10/12/20 Page 1 of 8 PageID: 1

https://www.law360.com/articles/1319076/attachments/0

Stipulation of Dismissal with Prejudice

Case 1:20-cv-14306-RBK-JS Document 12 Filed 03/09/21 Page 1 of 1 PageID: 42

https://www.law360.com/articles/1363311/attachments/0



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