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Bill to improve warehouse working conditions moves forward

Posted at 8:25 AM, Aug 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-06 12:10:03-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- A bill created to improve warehouse working conditions has passed the state's Senate Labor Committee.

Assembly Bill 3056, authored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, ensures warehouse workers can take a restroom break, use a hand-washing station, drink water, or take a legally mandated break without fear of being fired.

“We shouldn’t need to write a bill to make sure warehouse workers are able to take a restroom break or wash their hands without being reprimanded. But time and time again, Amazon has shown disregard for the safety of their workers -- even during this ongoing public health crisis,” Gonzalez said.

AB 3056 not only applies to Amazon workers, but also to those who work at Target, Walmart, and other retailer warehouses.

There has been an exponential rise in online sales leading to several companies adding automated systems to control the workflow. Worker productivity is monitored to determine whether someone has met a specified rate or quota of items pulled.

Automated systems generate warnings when too many time-off tasks occur in a worker’s shift, and accumulated warnings can result in workers being fired without a human manager even being involved.

The bill would establish civil penalties for an employer of $250 per employee for an initial violation, and $1,000 per employee for subsequent violations.