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Judge Reinstate Amazon warehouse worker fired for protesting workplace safety

Amazon warehouse worker fired for protesting workplace safety reinstated by Judge

Philip Aladino

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Amazon

Keynotes

  • Workers at a Staten Island Amazon warehouse have been ordered restored after being wrongfully terminated two years ago for participating in safety demonstrations.
  • Gerald Bryson got into an altercation with a worker on break during a demonstration outside Amazon’s JFK8 site on April 6, 2020.
  • Green decided, after considering the facts submitted by both sides, that “strong evidence shows that [Amazon’s] professed justification for terminating Bryson was a sham.”
  • As a consequence of their “skewed investigation,” Amazon dismissed Bryson but retained his employment despite Amazon’s failure to establish how the two employees’ behaviour was “significantly different,” according to Green.

Workers at a Staten Island Amazon warehouse have been ordered to be reinstated after they were wrongly sacked for engaging in safety demonstrations two years ago.

During a protest outside Amazon’s JFK8 facility on April 6, 2020, Gerald Bryson got into a dispute with a worker who was on a break. According to court filings, Bryson and the employee both used foul language and slurs at one another (which include transcripts of the incident taken from videos as appendices B and C). “It’s the only fucking job available, so enjoy it,” the employee said when Bryson proposed that Amazon shut the facility down because employees weren’t sufficiently protected against COVID-19.

Bryson was dismissed for breaking Amazon’s policy against using “abusive, profane, or harassing language,” while a written warning was issued to the other employee.


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An investigation into whether Bryson’s dismissal was due to his protests over dangerous working conditions was launched by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in March. When Amazon fired Bryson “unlawfully,” administrative law judge Benjamin Green concurred with this view and ordered him back to work, as well as compensation for two years of missed earnings.

After examining the facts presented by both parties, Green concluded that “substantial evidence suggests that [Amazon’s] claimed rationale for terminating Bryson was mere pretext.” Green. As a result of their “skewed inquiry,” Amazon fired Bryson but kept his job despite Amazon’s inability to demonstrate how the two workers’ behaviour was “substantially different,” according to Green.

Throughout the course of the argument, Bryson was reportedly urged to “back to the Bronx.” When a person of colour is referred to as being from the Bronx, “Bryson may plausibly take the statement as racist,” Green says in his summary.

According to Amazon spokesman Kelly Nantel, “We strongly disagree with this finding and are stunned that the NLRB would ask any employer to condone Mr. Bryson’s actions.” At least one company has expressed amazement that the NLRB would require any employer to condone Mr. Bryson’s behaviour: “We strongly disagree with this finding.” Even as workers throughout America are protesting over wages, working conditions, and safety, this lawsuit comes at an awkward time for Amazon. Unionisation began on April 1st at the Amazon JFK8 site, where Bryson was dismissed, while another in Alabama is in the works.

It was reported on Monday that Bryson’s triumph might inspire Amazon employees to organise a union. Bryson said, “Winning and returning to those doors changes everything.” Amazon, as this will demonstrate, can be defeated. When you stand up for what you believe in, it will show how important it is. “

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