Amazon has made some history on its home turf, but a new lawsuit filed against the company alleges that its treatment of employees violates federal law. In the complaint filed July 20, N.T. Smith, who was working as a sweeper at an Amazon warehouse in California, describes a hostile work environment where she says managers called her a “fat cat,” “slut,” and “a motherfucking whore.” The 44-year-old was also disciplined for complaining about what she was doing, and ultimately terminated from her job.
But Smith isn’t alone in saying she’s been treated poorly. A Department of Labor investigation found that workers at several Amazon warehouses had been fired for disclosing information to investigators. “Amazon misrepresents its conditions of employment in order to convince consumers that the company is a positive workplace experience,” the lawsuit, filed by legal advocacy organization Cooper James Steenson et al., alleges.
Amazon denies that it has a positive work environment. The company wrote in a statement: “We have strong policies in place around safety, discrimination, retaliation, and retaliation against whistleblowers and we do not tolerate unlawful behavior. Amazon has always received industry-leading scores from government agencies looking at workplace complaints and human-resource compliance across our entire company.”